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List of Previous Works by the Same Author dealing with 
the Negro and with African Questions 

the river congo, from its mouth to bolobo 

the kilimanjaro expedition 

the life of a slave 

the life of livingstone 

british central africa 

the history of the colonization of africa 

by alien races 
the uganda protectorate 
the nile quest 








G.C.M.G., K.C.B., D.Sc. Caivibs. 

Gold Medallist Royal Geographical and Royal Scottish Geographical Societies 

Corresponding Member of the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, U.S.A. 

and of the Italian Geographical Society, etc. 










First Published in igio 


BOOKS are often synonymous with boredom nowadays. We have so 
much more to read through than our parents read before us [if we are to 
keep abreast of the ever-widening scope of world-interests] that the sight of 
the printed page is to many people almost a provocation to anger, suggesting 
a further strain on the already over-taxed eyes and over-stuffed brain. The 
literature of the almost immediate future may quite possibly be reduced to the 
pictographs from which writing began. A novelist, a traveller, an anthro- 
pologist, or an historian will be required to say what he has to say in a series of 
pictures — photographs and diagrams — and the letterpress will be confined to 
little more than descriptive titles and occasional verbal explanations. 

In the year 1910, however, I have tried to tell in words as well as pictures 
the story of the NEGRO IN THE New WORLD, as much for my own education 
as for that of others. For those who are too busy to do more than glance at 
the pictures, and perhaps read through this preface (which is as much as fifty 
per cent of modern reviewers are able to accomplish, amid the rain of books in 
the English language), I will here summarise the conclusions to be deduced 
from my opinions and (I think) from my array of evidence. 

In chapter I. I have set forth the theory that the Negro should be regarded 
as a sub-species of the perfect human type — Homo sapiens; that his sub-specific 
differences from the Caucasian or White man, the Yellow or Mongolian, are 
largely, but not entirely, in the direction of his being slightly more akin to the 
lowlier human stock which preceded in time and development the existing Homo 
sapiens. He is consequently in some features a little more primitive than are the 
non-Negro peoples of Europe, Asia, and America ; and in others less so ; or 
more highly specialised, more divergent from Homo primigenius than is the 
Mongol or the Caucasian. In any case he is distinctly superior in human 
evolution to the Australoid, the lowest in development of all existing divisions 
of Homo sapiens. 

But although the Negro still possesses pithecoid characteristics long since 
lost by the Caucasian and the Mongol, although he comes of a stock which has 
stagnated in the African and Asiatic tropics for uncounted, unprogressive 
millenniums, he has retained dormant the full attributes of sapient humanity. 
He has remarkable and ungaugeable capabilities. It has been possible, over and 


over again, for individual Negroes to leap from a position of mental inferiority, 
such as the Caucasian's ancestors may have occupied fifty or even a hundred 
thousand years ago, to an equality in brain-power with some of the cleverest 
and ablest White men living at the present day. And it is always to be borne 
in mind (if we are not overrating the importance of the discovery of fossil 
negroids in Southern and Western France) that several branches of the Negro race 
may have known better days ten to forty thousand years ago, that the ancestors 
of the modern Negro in Africa may have pursued a downward course for many 
thousand years before their descendant was turned right-about-face by his 
Caucasian brother and compelled to take the ascending path which may lead 
him at some future period to a position of all-round equality with the white 

At the present day the generality of negroes (leaving out of account excep- 
tional individuals) are inferior in mental development and capacity to the peoples 
of Europe and their descendants in America, to the Eskimo, the Red Indian, the 
Japanese, the Chinese, the natives of India and of Tartary. The best types of 
Negro in bodily structure are almost as beautiful as the best types of European 
with (at present) the striking exception of the face. Morally, the Negro is 
nearly on an equality with the White race, and perhaps slightly superior to the 
Yellow. He is, however, more subject to disease, and is himself a hive of 
dangerous germs; perhaps has been the great disease-spreader among the other 
sub-species of Homo sapiens. 

As regards chapters II. and III. I have arrived at the conclusion that the 
Spaniards did not exterminate the Amerindian peoples of tropical America with 
quite the degree of senseless ferocity attributed to them by historians, and 
that they were scarcely worse in this respect than the Anglo-Saxons of North 
America, or the French and British in regard to the Caribs of the West India 
Islands. Both the Spaniards and the Portuguese were to a great extent 
checked in their intention to destroy and dispossess many Amerindian peoples 
by the work of the Society of Jesus, of the Dominicans, and of one or two 
other orders of missionaries emanating from the Roman Catholic Church. In 
regard to the Spanish treatment of the Negro it was far less cruel than was that 
of the Anglo-Saxon or the Dutchman. 

In chapter V. it is set forth that the Portuguese attitude towards the 
Amerindians (at any rate of Eastern Brazil) was better than that of the Spaniards 
towards the indigenes of Central and South America; the Portuguese treatment 
of the Negro in Brazil was a little less kindly than that of the Spaniards in 
Santo Domingo, Porto Rico, and eighteenth-century Cuba ; but on the whole 
the Negro had, even in slavery, a less unhappy life and far greater opportunities 
for bettering his position and attaining his freedom in Portuguese Brazil than 
he had in North America before the year 1863, or in the British and French 
West Indies before 1834. The Dutch treatment (chapter VI.) of the Negro 
before the commencement of the nineteenth century was mainly atrocious. It 


is now as good as it is in the British and French West Indies. The Jews who 
settled and prospered so much under Dutch protection in Tropical America 
behaved no better to the negro than did the Christian. The Bush negroes 
who grew up as a powerful people during the eighteenth century in the forests 
of Guiana obtained and conserved their freedom and independence, not only as 
the result of gallant fighting against the Dutch forces, but equally because of the 
loyal way in which both parties respected the terms of peace which were em- 
bodied in the treaties that terminated this warfare. 

In chapter VII. I have dealt with slavery under the French. I have 
attempted to show that in calling into existence a considerable number of 
half-breeds who were allowed to receive a good education in France, and yet in 
denying the ordinary rights of citizens to this educated class of mulattoes, the 
French had only themselves to thank (or their rancorous white planters of 
St. Domingue) for the insurrection that commenced with the mulattoes and 
was continued so tremendously by the negro slaves under Toussaint Louver- 
ture and other black generals. On the other hand, the Negro and the Negroid 
lost a great opportunity (owing to the class jealousy between the half-white 
and the wholly black) when all the leading insurgents of Hispaniola failed to 
support Toussaint Louverture — one of the greatest Negroes known to history — 
or, succeeding him, the intelligent mulatto politicians who ruled over the Republic 
of Haiti in its early days. Although the independence of Haiti was achieved 
mainly by the negroes, it is the negro majority that through several decades of 
misrule has well-nigh ruined Haiti, and has lost for ever the chances of bringing 
the whole island of Hispaniola under one Negroid Government. 

On the other hand, though I maintain that the French planters and some of 
the French officials (and the Government of Louis Seize and his Ministers was 
no wiser) behaved so badly to the black man and the half-caste in St. Domingue 
as to merit the censure of history ; elsewhere in tropical America France has 
treated the negro fairly well as slave and freeman, best of all, perhaps, as a free 
citizen, between whom and the white Frenchman there is little or no ill-feeling 
such as arises so often between the Anglo-Saxon and the Negro or Negroid. The 
impress of France on the negroes of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, 
and Trinidad has been so deeply implanted, has been so profound, that even after 
a hundred or a hundred and fifty years of British rule it still remains, moulding 
thought, language, religion, and social customs. Still more marked, of course, 
is the Frenchification of those islands of the Antilles that have remained under 
the French flag, or of the negroes of Cayenne. But this does not limit the 
influence of France over the Negro in the New World, or, still more, the Negroid. 
The patron country of Brazil is not Portugal, the United States, or Germany, 
but France. Because there is a very large negro or negroid element — 
perhaps over eight millions — in Brazil ; and a large proportion of these dark- 
coloured Brazilians are educated, art-and-music-loving people, to whom France, 
and Paris above all, is a veritable Mecca. All the rastaquoueres of South 


America look to France for the finishing education of their children, for their 
own enjoyment, when they wish to touch the highest phase of our present 
civilisation, or to deal with the greatest developments of science, literature, and 
art. The Negroids of Central America and the West Indies are turning their 
steps more towards New York, Boston, Washington, and Chicago. But Paris 
is still the magnetic pole for the rest of the twenty-two millions of dark-skinned 
people in the New World. 

An increasing number are going to Germany for education. Very few come 
to England, and the reason given recently in print is a simple one. If the 
man of colour goes to France or Germany, nowhere in these countries is he 
insulted or treated as an inferior being. No notice at all is taken of the differ- 
ence between the colour of his skin and that of his hosts for the time being. 
Whereas if the negroid comes to England, or goes to any part of the South- 
Eastern United States, he is apt to be rudely treated. If he be a full-blooded 
negro, he will receive in England a kindly, half-contemptuous treatment, but he 
will be made to feel more at his ease about the docks of Liverpool and London 
than at university towns or in Bloomsbury. But the pure-blooded negro is a 
jolly person, not as a rule given to seeking or finding offence ; whereas the 
negroid is a thousand times more touchy, more acutely self-conscious than 
either black man or white man. And this increasing type of American 
humanity finds in France a patroness which its sensitive nature warmly 

In chapters IX., X., and XL, dealing with Slavery under the British, I felt 
obliged to show with what terrible cruelties this institution was connected in 
the greater part of the British West Indies, and possibly also in British Guiana, 
before 1834. Nor did these cruelties cease entirely with the Abolition of the 
Slave-trade and of Slavery. They were continued under various disguises until 
they culminated in the Jamaica Revolt of Morant Bay in 1S65. Since 1868 the 
history of the British West Indies, so far as the treatment of the negro and 
the coloured man is concerned, has been wholly satisfactory, taking into con- 
sideration all the difficulties of the case. Much of the temporary ruin of the 
West India Islands during the middle of the nineteenth century was not directly 
caused by giving freedom to the slaves, but by a blunder perpetrated in 1849 in 
connection with the otherwise beneficent institution of Free Trade. After that 
year the sugar (and cotton) of the British West Indies raised by the paid labour 
of free negroes was obliged to compete in the British markets with the slave- 
grown sugar of the Southern States of the Union, of Spanish Cuba and Porto 
Rico, Dutch Guiana, and Brazil. If without interfering with the indisputable 
need of Free Trade in the United Kingdom a very legitimate differential duty 
had been placed on all slave-grown sugar, cotton, and tobacco, not only would 
the British West Indies have suffered little, if any, eclipse in their prosperity, 
but an end would have been put much sooner to the existence of Slaver)' in the 
Southern States of the Union, in Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese America. 



In chapters XIV. and XV. is traced the history of Slavery in the United 
States. It was here that the battle for human freedom was fought on the 
grandest scale and with the most tremendous results, and consequently the 
history of the Negro in this part of the world is so important that it requires 
a more ample treatment than is necessary for similar problems in Brazil or 
Spanish America. I have felt it advisable, as the result of reading a great 
many books (some of them little known), to give an explicit account of the 
exceptional cruelties attending Slavery in the United States. These cruelties, 
perhaps, were not greater than what went on in British Barbados or in the 
Bahama Islands, and certainly not more outrageous than the treatment of the 
negroes in Dutch Guiana; but the wickedness was on a far greater scale 
geographically and affected the welfare of a much larger number of human 

Even this may seem a thrice-told tale and an unnecessary raking-up of 
embers that have ceased to glow. I do not think so. I still believe that the 
bulk of my fellow-countrymen and the mass of my possible readers in North 
America have not realised [with our super-sensitive, twentieth-century con- 
sciousness] how bad was the treatment of the Negro in the South-Eastern States 
of the Union between, let us say, 1790 and i860. This story should be re- 
written ever and again " lest we forget." Given the same temptations and the 
same opportunities, there is sufficient of the devil still left in the white man for 
the 300 years' cruelties of negro (or other) slavery to be repeated, if it were 
worth the white man's while, and public opinion could be drugged or purchased. 
Perhaps some day the white man's conscience may be universally educated 
up to the level of Christ's teaching and of the gospel according to Exeter 
Hall, and the subject of Slavery and the Slave Trade can be tacitly 

So much for the past : the present is treated of in a series of chapters 
which to a great extent represent my own personal observations on the exist- 
ing condition of the Negro in the New World. A visit to the United States in 
1908 revealed to me the wonderful educational work which is being carried 
on at the Hampton and Tuskegee Institutes, and at the now-innumerable 
daughter-schools or sister-colleges ; work which is (I believe) raising up the 
Negro and Negroid to play a great part in North America, the West Indies, 
Central and South America. If any efforts can bring the Negro mentally and 
physically to the best standard of the White man, it will be the work which 
was, for all practical purposes, initiated by General S. C. Armstrong, though 
foreshadowed by the prior enterprises of the Jesuits, the Moravian Brethren, 
the Society of Friends, the Baptists, and the Presbyterians. This work has 
since been continued in the States by such men and women as Dr. Frissell, 
Miss Laura W. Towne, Miss Ellen Murray, Dr. Booker Washington, Professor 
W. E. B. DuBois, Miss Rossa Cooley, Mr. Holtzclaw, and many other negro, 
negroid, and white Americans. 


It is only right to remember, however, that the work of these prophets and 
teachers would have been a vain calling in the wilderness had it not been for 
the immense sums of money contributed (for the most part) by white millionaires 
of the Northern States, by one or two rich negroes or negresses who had gained 
their wealth in the North, and by a few white Southerners, the avant-garde of a 
great movement of reparation towards the Negro. One should also notice with 
gratification the increasing prosperity of those Southern States like Alabama, 
which are forgetting race prejudice in assisting the Negro to occupy a responsible 
position as a free and an educated citizen. Nowhere is the power of Money 
for good more strikingly shown than at Tuskegee. Andrew Carnegie, for 
example, by assisting to endow this Institute with a splendid income, has probably 
effected more change in the world's future than many a vaunted conqueror of 
the past, by land or sea. 

Haiti, I have tried to show, is not quite so black as she has been painted. 
She has it in her to become a happy, wealthy, and respected negro community, 
if she will cut herself off from the preposterous traditions of her ridiculous past, 
cease to dress up in grotesque military uniforms, to be for ever marching to and 
fro to military music, and wasting her substance on warlike stores. For very 
shame she should cease to make the negro race a laughing-stock. She has no 
enemies, because the United States is her all-powerful friend. 

In the British West Indies a much higher level of education should be aimed 
at by the people of colour. And just as the British Government has in a very 
munificent way taken in hand the agriculture of the West Indies, and grouped 
its teaching round a Central Institute, and thereby contributed greatly to the 
revival of prosperity, so in like manner some system of universal, British-West- 
Indian, practical, collegiate education should be brought into being. Otherwise, 
all intelligent negroes in these islands, and in British Honduras and Guiana, 
will look to receive their twentieth-century education at the hands of the United 
States. A great deal more should be done in the future to unify the British 
administration of these remarkable West Indian Islands, not merely in the 
interest of the Black and of the Yellow, but also of the White. So far as 
natural conditions are concerned, there is a considerable total area under the 
British flag in tropical America which might be colonised by White people 
without injustice to, or displacement of, the coloured race. 

I do not think that there is any more reason for resigning the smaller W T est 
Indian Islands to the negroes than there is for excluding the negro from access 
to all parts of temperate America. The white people of the United States 
will have to get used to the presence of the negro in their midst as a brother, 
but not a brother-in-law. If the Imperial destiny of the English-speaking 
peoples of North America is to be achieved, they must expect to see their flag 
or flags covering nationally many peoples of non-Caucasian race, wearing the 
shadowed livery of the burnished sun. Already the Stars and Stripes float over 
the Isthmus of Panama. The influence of this same great nation keeps the peace 


and controls the destinies of all Central America and the northern half of South 
America, to say nothing of Cuba, Hispaniola, and Porto Rico, of Hawaii and 
the Philippines. Unless this Imperial progress is to be truncated and beaten 
back, the white citizens of this Republic must accustom themselves to accord 
rights of citizenship and of entrance into civilised society to men of all colours 
in all parts of their dominion. They — and we — may limit the franchise as we 
like, by conditions of education, physical fitness, property, or service to the 
State. But whatever may be the conditions restricting a franchise, they must 
be made to apply to all members of the human species without distinction of 
sex, race, or colour. 

My book ends with a tabulation of the numerical importance of the Negro 
in the New World at the present day. As to the future of the black man in 
America or in Africa, it depends largely on himself. For many thousand 
years he has been a relatively idle creature as compared to the industrious 
European or Asiatic ; who when not in slavery to each other were the slaves of 
ambition, of art and science, of gluttony, of lust, and of religion. In other 
words, they worked. The negro became constitutionally so lazy that he 
thought out very few problems for himself, but every now and again bor- 
rowed ideas from the Caucasian, who impinged on his territories in Northern 

The rending of the veil which had shrouded him from the full gaze of the 
white man for thousands of years ; the discovery of Negro Africa by the Arab, 
Portuguese, Hollander, British, and French forced the palaeolithic or neolithic 
negro to gaze upon the full effulgence of the white man's civilisation — the 
civilisation of guns and gunpowder; of the Cross, the Mass, the translated Bible 
and hymnal ; of schools and colleges, ships and wagons, distilled alcohol, rail- 
ways and telegraphs, economic botany, modern rifles and artillery, canned food 
and corrugated iron. Probably for ten thousand years the negro of one type 
or another has been a slave or a servant to some kind of white man. Is that 
servitude at an end ? Or will it be resumed in Africa under pleasanter terms 
more agreeable to the ingrained hypocrisy of the Christian European ? Will 
the negro always occupy a lower social level in Brazil, in the West Indies, in 
North America? 

If he is not content with a position against which the Jew has chafed and 
struggled from 300 B.C. to the Russian Pogroms of 1905 A.D. he will determine 
to do as the Jew has done : make plenty of money. Money solves all human 
difficulties. It will buy you love and respect, power and social standing. With 
money you can create armies and build navies, you can control the votes of 
your fellow-citizens, found and shape their educational institutes, conduct a 
Press, overcome disease, make actual the charity of early Christianity, achieve 
all purposes that are noble, and check the Devil at every turn ; whether he crop 
up in the forms of alcoholism, disease, intestinal worms, religious intolerance, 
political oppression, waste of the earth's natural resources, or the misuse of 


corrugated iron. If you are rich you can roof your dwellings with tiles of the 
most beautiful, or stone slabs, or wooden shingles, marble terraces or leaden 
sheets ; if you are poor you must content yourself with corrugated iron and 
know that your dwelling is a blot on the landscape. 

The one undoubted solution of the Negro's difficulties throughout the world 
is for him to turn his strong arms and sturdy legs, his fine sight, subtle hearing, 
deft fingers, and rapidly-developed brain to the making of Money, money being 
indeed but transmuted intellect and work, accumulated energy and courage. 
And his leaders, his pastors and teachers, should direct his and their attention 
to the questions that are really vital : to theories and practices of disease- 
prevention and cure ; to the correlation of intestinal worms and sanitary 
reform ; to the inculcation of the chemistry of nature, of practical agriculture, 
beautiful horticulture, sound building, modern history, modern science, modern 
languages, modern religion, and modern temperance in eating, drinking, love- 
making, and public oratory. 

Before proceeding to set forth the details in history and actuality on which these 
general conclusions are founded, I should like to express my acknowledgments to the 
many persons who have helped me in this task, either by facilitating my journeys or by 
supplying information or photographs. [Some names appear in the list of illustrations 
and the text of the book in relation to the source of illustration or notes, or services 
rendered. Those to whom I am more generally or signally indebted are enumerated 

The inception of the book was due to the invitation of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, 
who was President of the United States when I made my journeys through different parts 
of the New World. Mr. Roosevelt indicated to me many lines of research which I have 
tried to follow up, and gave me considerable assistance by letters of introduction to 
persons in the United States, in Cuba, Haiti, and elsewhere. The Editor of the Times 
invited me to contribute a series of letters to that paper on the present condition of 
the Negro in America; and Messrs. McClure, of McCluris Magazine, secured the 
American rights in these letters, the composition of which was the starting-point of this 

From the Right Honble. James Bryce and Mrs. Bryce I received the kindest hos- 
pitality at Washington and introductions to leading Americans which were of much 
value to me. Dr. Leander Chamberlain (brother of that Governor Chamberlain who 
worked at the reconstruction of the South after the War) was my principal guide and 
host in and through the wonders of New York — in some respects the most wonderful, 
most advanced, educative, interesting, and beautiful city in the world — certainly the one 
I should most like to live in, if residence in a town were obligatory. Dr. Chamberlain 
caused me to know many of the leading men in New York who are concerning themselves 
with the education of the Negro, amongst them Dr. Wallace Buttrick, who from the 
twenty-second storey of one of New York's Brobdingnagian palaces directs the affairs of 
that mighty institution the General Education Board. 

Mr. Robert Ogden, a member of this Board and a Trustee of Hampton and Tuskegee, 
conveyed me to the last-named Institute and introduced me to Dr. Booker Washington. 


(I had previously been the guest of Dr. H. B. Frissell, at Hampton.) What I have 
learnt from and through the Principal of Tuskegee and his staff (especially from Dr. 
Robert E. Park) is set forth in the chapters dealing with the Education of the Negro, as 
is also my indebtedness to Mr. J. O. Thompson and Mr. W. Thompson, well-known 
landowners in Alabama, whose acquaintance I made at Tuskegee, and who showed me 
so much of industrial and agricultural Alabama. 

All Louisiana — the most interesting of the Southern States, as Alabama is the most 
beautiful— was thrown open to my inquiring gaze by the introductions of the Honble. 
Pearl White ; and I shall long remember the hospitality of Mr. McCall on his estate by 
the banks of the Mississippi. Whatever it may have lacked in the " ante-bellum " days, 
the hospitality of the " South " is now a very delightful reality. 

My sincere thanks are also due to Mrs. J. Perrin (to whom I was introduced by Mr. 
McClure), who resides for a part of the year on the Mississippi Delta, and who with one 
of her friends acted as my cicerone in visiting negro settlements in that region. Mr. 
Pearl White's introductions carried me through Florida to Cuba, where the Honble. 
R. Hawley [who supervises most of the great sugar estates of that island], together 
with the British Minister (Mr. A. C. Grant Duff) and the managers of the English 
railways, enabled me to see a good deal of Cuba at a minimum of time and ex- 
pense. To Mr. Theodore Brooks, British Vice-Consul at Guantanamo, I feel excep- 
tionally indebted. 

In Haiti, thanks especially to the American Minister, Dr. H. W. Furniss, I was 
enabled to see more of the country and people in a relatively short space of time than 
any preceding traveller (I should think). I am also indebted to Captain Alexander 
Murray, the British Consul-General in that Republic, and to the courtesy and kindness 
of the Haitian officials ; to Mr. C. Lyon Hall, a well-known British resident and banker 
at Port-au-Prince, and to Mrs. Lyon Hall ; to the Messrs. Peters, British concessionnai?-es 
in Haiti ; to the German Consul-General and the German residents at Port-au-Prince ; 
and last, but not least, to the French priests and seminarists of the Haitian Church 
and Educational department. 

[As showing the wide scope of the Roman propaganda, it was interesting to me to 
renew acquaintance in Haiti with Catholic missionaries whom I had last seen in East 
Africa and Uganda.] 

In Jamaica Sir Sydney Olivier obtained for me every facility for sight-seeing and 
study which could save time and expense and procure for me the information I wanted. 
The kindly help of other Jamaican officials is acknowledged in loco ; but I should like 
specially to thank Mr. W. Harris, Mr. H. H. Cousins, and Miss H. A. Wood for their 
initiation into the wonders and beauties of the Jamaican flora. Unfortunately I have 
only been able to use in the present work a fiftieth part of their information and 

President Taft allowed me to accompany his tour of inspection over the Panama 
Canal zone in February, 1909. The facilities most kindly offered me by the Royal Mail 
Steamship Company enabled me to avail myself of this invitation and to visit the Spanish 
Main and the islands of Trinidad and Barbados. Other journeys to and through the 
New World were carried out under the regis of Messrs. Thomas Cook and Son, to whose 
agent in New York I tender my sincere thanks. 


Since my return to England in 1909 the further prosecution of my studies of the past 
and present of the Negro in the New World and his environment has been materially 
helped by Mr. Algernon E. Aspinall, Secretary to the West India Committee, to whom I 
have referred repeatedly in the body of the work; by Mr. Travers Buxton and the 
Library of the Anti-Slavery Society ; by Dr. Robert E. Park, of the Tuskegee Institute ; 
and by Professor W. E. Burghardt DuBois, of Atlanta University ; by the Librarian 
of the Colonial Office, Mr. C. Atchley, i.s.o. (Colonial Laws on Slavery, etc.), and the 
Director of Military Operations (History of West India Regiments); Mr. Edward 
Heawood, Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society; Dr. J. Scott Keltie, ll.d. ; 
Mr. Edgar Gardner Murphy (the well-known American writer on the United States 
Negro) ; Dr. R. T. Leiper, of the London School of Tropical Medicine ; Dr. A. Keith, 
of the Royal College of Surgeons; H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco (illustrations of the 
skulls of negroid types found in the Grimaldi Caverns) ; E. H. Man, Esq. (late of 
the Andaman Islands) Mr. Roger Casement, c.m.g. (H.B.M. Consul-General, Rio de 
Janeiro); Mr. J. R. W. Pigott, H.B.M. Consul for Dutch and French Guiana; Dr. H. 
van Cappelle, an explorer of Dutch Guiana; Mr. D. O'Sullivan-Beare, H.B.M. Consul 
at Santos; Herr Walter Garbe and Dr. Max Schmidt (German travellers in Central 
Brazil); Mr. J. E. Devaux, Vice-Consul at Guadeloupe; The Right Rev. Wilfrid 
Hornby, Bishop of Nassau (Bahamas), and Dr. A. W. Holly, of the same place; 
T.E. The Governors of British Honduras (Col. E. J. E. Swayne, c.b.) and the Leeward 
Islands (Sir Bickham Sweet-Escott, k.c.m.g.); the Administrator of Dominica (Honble. 
Douglas Young, c.m.g.) ; H.E. Sir Everard Im Thurn, Governor of Fiji ; Major 
Herbert Bryan, c.m.g., Colonial Secretary, Gold Coast Colony; the Commissioner of 
the Cayman Islands, G. S. S. Hirst, Esq., m.b. ; H. E. Constantin Brun, Danish Envoy 
at the Court of St. James ; H.E. J. P. Crommelin, Liberian Minister Plenipotentiary 
to Great Britain and France; Dr. Bumpus, of the American Museum of Natural 
History ; Mr. Madison Grant, of the New York Zoological Society ; Capt. T. C. 
Hincks (of the Royal Berkshire Regt., and formerly A.D.C. to the Governor of the Gold 
Coast) ; Capt. W. B. Stanley, a Travelling Commissioner of the Gambia Colony ; 
Messrs. Hutchinson and Co., of 34 Paternoster Row ; Mr. J. R. Henderson, of the 
Madras Government Museum; Mr. Francis Harrison, of the Natal Government 
Agency in London ; Miss Alice Werner, of the African Society ; Mr. H. S. Kingsford, 
of the Royal Anthropological Institute ; the Royal Society of Arts (Brazilian photo- 
graphs) ; the Religious Tract Society ; Mr. C. W. Furlong, of Connecticut (an 
American explorer of South America and North Africa) ; Mr. William Aery, of the 
Southern Workman, Hampton, U.S.A.; Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, a Professor at 
Hampton Institute ; Messrs. James Rodway and J. van Sertima, of British Guiana ; 
and Mr. R. Harold Paget, the representative in America of my literary agents, Messrs. 
A. P. Watt. 

This long recital of names of so many eminent persons and authorities may 
arouse in the uninterested reader the feeling that their assistance and encourage- 
ment should have provoked a much better book. He will probably be right ; 
but I have been actually embarrassed by the wealth of material in pictures and 
statistics collected personally or placed at my disposal by others. The attempt 



to present in one volume the past and present of the Negro in the New World 
may produce for those of encyclopaedic instincts a disappointing result. One 
thing, however, I wish to make abundantly clear. The views and conclusions 
deduced from all the evidence which has passed under my eyes are my own 
and not necessarily those of my friends and helpers, several of whom have, 
after seeing the proofs, been inclined to dissent in some degree from my 

Poling, May, 19 10 


Chapter I. 



















































CUBA ....... 



HAITI ....... 


JAMAICA ....... 













1 10 











The Negro in West Africa . . . Painting- by the Author Frontispiece 

i The Australoid type . ... Photo by Messrs. Kerry and Co., 

Sydney . . . . i 

2 The typical Negro . ... Photo by the late Samuel Hall . 3 

3 The Caucasian type (an Anglo-Saxon American) . . ... 4 

4 The Caucasian type (an Englishman, early 

twentieth century) . ... Photo by Messrs. Elliott and Fry . 6 

5 The Mongolian type (a Chinaman from Eastern 

China) . . ... Per Mr. Leo Weinthal . . . 7 

6 Drawing showing the foot of a European as com- 

pared with that of a Forest Negro and an 

Australasian Negro . . . . By the Author . ... 8 

7 Skull of male Bushman . ... Royal College of Surgeons . . 11 

8 Skull of male Oceanic Negro . . . Photo by Mr. Henry George, Royal 

College of Surgeons . . .12 

9 Skull of male United States Negro . . . Photo by National Museum, Wash- 

ington . . . . 12 

10 Skull of Ashanti Negro, W.C.A. . . . Photo by Mr. Henry Georg-e, Royal 

College of Surgeons . . .13 

11 Skull of Mafibettu Negro, North Central Africa. Photo by Mr. Henry George, Royal 

College of Surgeons . . .13 

12 Skull of male Mulatto, U.S.A. . . . Photo by National Museum, Wash- 

ington . . . . 14 

13 Skull of female Negro, U.S.A. . . . Photo by National Museum, Wash- 

ington . . . . 14 

14 Skull of Englishman . ... Photo by Royal College of Surgeons 15 

15 Skull of female Mulatto, U.S.A. . . . Photo by National Museum, Wash- 

ington . . 15 

16 An Australasian Negro from New Ireland . . Per Royal Anthropological Institute . 17 

17 Oceanic Negro (male) from the Solomon Islands Photo lent by R. Anthropology Inst. 18 

18 Oceanic Negro (female) from Solomon Islands . Royal Anthropological Institute . iS 

19 Asiatic Negroes : Andamanese from near Port 

Blair, South Andaman Island . . . Photo by Mr. E. H. Man . . 19 

20 The wife of a Hottentot chief (actually an example 

of the Strandlooper, pre-Bushman type of 

South Africa . . ... Photo by late W. C. Palgrave . . 20 

21 A Bushman of the " Strandlooper " type . . Per Messrs. Hutchinson and Co., 

Paternoster Row . . . 20 

22 A Bushman of Cape Colony . . . Photo lent by Royal Anthropological 

Institute . . . . 21 

2^ A Namakwa Hottentot hybrid . . . Per Royal Geographical Society . 22 

24 A Berg- Damara (Haukwoin) negro, S.W. Africa Per Royal Geographical Society . 23 

25 The typical Bantu negro (a Muherero : S.W. 

Africa) . . ... Photo by late W. C. Palgrave . . 24 




26 A Zulu negro, Natal 

27 Skull of young- male negroid found in the Grimald 

Caves, French Riviera . 

28 Kader youth (negroid of Southern India) . 

29 Paniyan woman (Southern India) 

30 A Puliyar boy (negrito of Southern India) . 

31 A Congo Pygmy (Bambute) 

32 The typical Ethiopian (Hadendowa) 



A Siou Amerindian 

An Arawak Amerindian 

Carib Amerindians 

An Amerindian of South Central Brazil 

A wild Ona Indian of Tierra del Fuego 

A Canary Islander 

39 Captain Sir John Hawkins . 

40 A Fula from the West African hinterland . 

41 The entrance to the cathedral at Panama . 

42 Negro gangs of labourers constructing th 

drainage of Colon 

43 Negro quarters at Rio Grande, Panama Canal 

44 Dominican types : Amerindian-Spanish 
An American customs officer, Santo Domingo 
A fort and customs-house on the Dominican 

Haitian frontier 
A view in the mountains of Santo Domingo 
In Santo Domingo 
Cereus triangularis : a tree cactus of Santo 

Domingo . . . . 

A negro of Santo Domingo 
A group of " Indios," Cuba 












The " bohio " or hut of an " Indio " 

A Spanish Cuban . 

A Spanish Cuban with two Cuban ladies . 

A Cuban lady of Spanish-French parentage 

A Cuban mulatto 

A negro overseer, Cuba . 

Negro teamsters, Cuba 

A Cuban negro . . . 

Negroes at work in a Cuban sugar plantation 

Cuban negroes during their midday rest 

The house of a Spanish settler in Cuba 

A typical American in Cuba 

The entrance to the harbour of Havana 

An avenue of royal palms 

Cereus cacti in the Cuban lowlands . 

A river in Eastern Cuba . 

The pavement of Cuban streets before th 

United States came on the scene . 
"Since the Americans came": a street in ; 

Cuban town . . . 


Photo by Mr. S. S. Watkinson . 25 

By permission of H.S. H. the Prince 

of Monaco 
Per Mr. J. R. Henderson, Govern 

ment Museum, Madras 
Per J. R. Henderson, Governmen 

Museum, Madras 
Photo by J. R. Henderson, Govern 

ment Museum, Madras 
Photo by the Author 
Per Messrs. Erdmann and Schanz 

Per Southern Workman . 
Photo by Sir Everard Im Thurn 

»*j )» *> 

Photo by Herr Walter Garbe 
Photo by C. W. Furlong 
Photo by the Author 

Photo by the late Arthur 
Photo by the Author 

Photo lent by Vice-Con 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by the Author 


ul Theodore 




70 A portion of the great esplanade of Western 

Havana . . ... 

71 The coast of Brazil . ... 

72 Sketch map of Brazil . ... 

73 The Angolan element in the Brazilian negro 

population . . . 

74 Brazilian negro workers in diamond-mining ex- 

cavations . . . 

75 Negro type from the Upper Congo (Bangala) 

76 A Bahian negro . . . . 

77 An old Brazilian ex-slave, Bahia 

78 A negress of Angola origin, Eastern Brazil 

79 A Brazilian landscape in the vicinity of Rio de 

Janeiro . . . . 

80 A Fula of the type trading between West Africa 

and Brazil . . . . 

81 Bahia, East Brazil 

82 A negress of Bahia 

83 Visconde do Rio Branco, Prime Minister in 

Brazil and Slavery reformer in 187 1 

84 A " Mameluco," or hybrid between Amerindian 

and European 

85 In the forests of South Central Brazil 

86 Tree ferns in a Brazilian forest 

87 A school teacher and pupils : Minas Geraes 

88 Brazilian negroes engaged in washing river-sand 

for diamonds . 

89 Brazilian negroes starting on a sailing voyage- 
go H. E. Senhor Nilo Pecanha, President of Brazil 

91 A " Cafuzo," hybrid between Negro and Amer- 

indian . . ... 

92 A Botocudo Amerindian of Eastern Brazil . 

93 On the banks of the Amazons River 

94 Elmina Castle : Gold Coast 

95 A Koromanti free negro (eighteenth century) 

96 On the Coppename, in the land of many rivers, 

Dutch Guiana . . ... 

97 Breaking the joints and mutilating negro slaves: 

Dutch Guiana (eighteenth century) 

98 A mulatto woman of Dutch Guiana 

99 An octoroon girl, Dutch Guiana (eighteenth 

century) . . ... 

100 One of the atrocious methods of killing slaves 

(eighteenth century) . ... 

101 Atypical Dutch Guiana planter of the eighteenth 

century . . ... 

102 A Bush negro of the Saramaka tribe, Dutch 

Guiana . . ... 

103 Bush negroes of the Aukan tribe, Dutch Guiana 

104 A European volunteer in the service of the Dutch 

West India Company (eighteenth century) 

105 An important street in Paramaribo . 


Photo by the Author 
Photo lent by Royal Geographical 

Photo by the late George Grenfell 

Photo by Mr. Hugh Pearson 
Photo by the late George Grenfell 
Photo lent by D. O'Sullivan-Beare 

Photo by Messrs. Spiller 

Photo by Capt. W. Stanley 
Photo lent by Royal Mail S.N. Co. 
Photo lent by D. O'Sullivan-Beare 

From a print by W. Welstead . 

Photo by Sir Everard Im Thurn 
Photo by Mr. W. S. Barclay pei 

Royal Geographical Society . 
Photo by Mr. A. Landstrom per Roya 

Geographical Society . 
Photo by Mr. Hugh Pearson 

Photo lent by Mr. R. Casement 
Photo by Herr Walter Garbe 
Photo by Sir Benjamin Stone 

Royal Geographical Society 
Photo by Capt. T. C. Hincks 
After Stedman, 1798 

Photo by Dr. H. van Cappelle 

After Stedman, 1798 

Photo by Dr. H. van Cappelle 

After Stedman, 1798 

Photo by Dr. H. van Cappelle 

After Stedman, 1798 

Photo by Dr. H. van Cappelle 


















1 10 

1 1 1 

1 12 




1 iS 







106 Nickerie, an important town in Western Surinam 

107 The workaday costume of the coloured women 

of Dutch Guiana . ... 

108 Negro rowers, Dutch Guiana 

109 Negro women, Dutch Guiana 

1 10 A Chinaman of Dutch Guiana married to a 
negrcss . . ... 

in The "Granman " or chief of the Aukan tribe of 
Rush negroes . . ... 

112 A Ceiba tree (Bombax) . ... 

113 The latest fashions in Surinam 

114 The town of Castries, St. Lucia 

115 A mulatto woman, Martinique 

216 Cattle of Northern Haiti . ... 

1 1 7 French negroes dancing on a fete day (eighteenth 

century) . . ... 

118 Quiet industry: a French-speaking negress 

seamstress in Louisiana 

119 A French-speaking Louisiana negro and his 

grandchild . . . 

120 An earthly paradise : Haiti at its best 

121 A waterfall in the grounds of an old French 

plantation in Haiti 

122 A typical half-breed of distinction : General 

Alexandre Petion (afterwards President) 

123 In the back yard of an old French country house 

Diquiny . . . . 

124 The quiet garden of an old French town house 

Haiti .... 

125 Toussaint Louverture, about 1795 . 

126 Port-au-Prince from the shore . 

127 Toussaint Louverture, about 1799 . 

128 In the splendid mountains of Haiti 

129 Toussaint Louverture, about 1S02 . 

130 The handwriting and signature of Toussain 

Louverture . . . . 

131 Jean-Jacques Dessalines . 

132 The national emblems of Haiti 

133 General Henri Christophe (afterwards Henri I) 

134 Jean-Pierre Boyer, President of Haiti 

135 General-Pierrot, President of Haiti 

136 General Soulouque (afterwards Faustin I) 

137 Fabre Geffrard, President of Haiti . 

138 Sylvain Salnave, President of Haiti 

139 Michel Domingue, President of Haiti 

140 General Boisrond-Canal, President of Haiti 

141 General Salomon, President of Haiti 

142 General F. D. Legitime, President of Haiti 

143 General Hyppolite, President of Haiti 

144 General Tiresias Sam, President of Haiti . 

145 General Nord Alexis, President of Haiti . 

146 H. E. Antoine Simon, President of the Haitian 

Republic . . . . . 


Photo by Dr. H. van Cappelle 

Photo by Mr. J . R. W. Pigott 
Photo by Dr. H. van Cappelle 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by Mr. J. R. W. Pigott . 

Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 

Photo by the Author 

From an old French picture in Bryan 
Edwards' History of the West Indies 

Photo by the Author 








'3 2 


Photo by H. E. Dr. H. W. Furniss 

Photo by the Author 

From an old engraving 

Photo by the Author 

From Capt. Marcus Rainford's His 

tory of St. Domingo 
Photo by the Author 
From an old engraving 

Photo by Duperty and Co., Jamaica 

Photo by H.E. Dr. H. W. Furniss, 
U.S.A. Minister . . . 







I5 1 








47 A French negro (Martinique) 

48 Lycee Carnot, Guadeloupe 

49 A Martinique negress 

50 A Guiana negress 

51 A West Indian sunset 

52 The new cathedral, Port-au-Prince, Haiti 

53 In the streets of Port-au-Prince 

54 The President's palace, Port-au-Prince 

55 The statue to Dessalines . 

56 Inside the cemetery, Port-au-Prince 

57 The principal market, Port-au-Prince 

58 An open-air market, Haiti 

59 A church and seminar}-, Port-au-Prince 

60 A restaurant by the seashore near Port-au-Prince 

61 The mountains and pine woods of Haiti 

62 A Nopalea tree cactus : Haiti 

63 A Pachycereas cactus : Haitian lowlands . 

64 The Santo Domingo end of Lake Azuey 

65 A wild boar : Lake Azuey 

66 Pin us baliamctisis 

67 A Haitian peasant on his way to market . 

68 "Joseph," maitre d' hotel . 

69 A Haitian peasant woman and her children 

70 A well-to-do farmer, Haiti 

71 A Haitian country house of the middle-class type 

72 A " Yudu " house, Haiti 

73 " Yudu " drums, Haiti 

74 The base of a fetish tree, on which votive offer 

ings are placed . . 

75 The real article ! A priestess of the Obia (Lago 

hinterland) . . . . 

76 Haitian cattle . . . 

77 The way the Haitians restrain their domestii 

pigs from wandering 

78 A fife-and-drum band, Haiti 

79 A Haitian policeman 

80 A ramshackle Haitian dwelling defended by 


81 Peasants' huts, Haiti 


ves of 

82 A Haitian mason 

83 The Government secretariats and offices, 


84 Outside the cemetery, Port-au-Prince (gra 

political martyrs) 

85 A portion of the town of Port-au-Prince 

down by incendiary fires 

86 Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast 

87 Negroes from northern territories of Gold Coast 

88 A negro homestead in the Bermuda Islands 

89 Bridgetown and the bridge, Barbados 

90 A Kanjaga negro, from the Gold Coast hinter- 

land . . . ... 

191 An old-time English planter's mansion in Bar- 
bados ■ . ... 

Photo by Mr. J. R. W. Pigott 
Photo by the Bishop of Nassau 
Photo by the Author 

Photo by Mr. S. Owen 
Photo bv the Author 

Photo by Dr. H. W. Furniss, U 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by J. Roland, per Royal 

graphical Society 
Photo by Capt. T. C. Hincks 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by Sergeant A. Stiles, R.A 

Photo by the Author 






















21 2 






192 A windmill and sugar factory, Barbados . 

193 The white roads of bus}' Barbados 

194 A seventeenth-century church in Bridgetown, 

Barbados . . ... 

195 " Busy Barbados " : going to market 

196 Freedom and industry : a woman worker in the 

fields, Barbados . ... 

197 A Barbadian private of the West India Regi- 

ment . . ... 

198 A bandsman, West India Regiment 

199 " A stake in the country " 

200 " Busy Barbados " : going to market with 

poultry . . ... 

201 The House of Assembly in Bridgetown, Bar- 

bados . . ... 

202 Codrington College, Barbados 

203 " Busy Barbados" : selling island pottery 

204 "Breezy Barbados" . ... 

205 "Breezy Barbados." (The person despoiled of his 

hat by Barbadian zephyrs is Mr. A. Greaves, 
the author's photographic and general assist- 
ant throughout his American journeys) . 

206 Bust of Sir Conrad Reeves, formerly Chief 

Justice . . ... 

207 President Arthur Barclay, of Liberia 

208 " Busy Barbados " — the harbour of Bridgetown . 

209 A sugar mill and ox-team with sugar cane : St. 

Christopher . . ... 

210 A negro sailor of St. Kitts 

211 In lovely Dominica . ... 
2(2 The principal land-crab of the West Indies 

213 Two women and a child of Dominica, showing 

various degrees of intermixture between Carib, 
Frenchman, and negro . ... 

214 A Carib-negroid woman of Dominica 

215 A lane in Dominica . . . . 

216 Market square, Roseau . ... 

217 The district of Moneague . ... 

218 A typical landscape in beautiful Jamaica . 

219 The Treaty of Peace between the British and 

the Maroons, 1738 . . . . 

220 The Maroon settlement of Trelawney Town, in 

North-West Jamaica . ... 

221 In a Maroon town, Jim Crow country, East 

Jamaica . . ... 

222 Maroons of Eastern Jamaica 

223 Stately Georgian buildings of Spanish Town 

224 The Government buildings in Spanish Town, 

and Rodney's guns . ... 

225 The Pimento tree of Jamaica 


Photo by the Author 

Photo lent by Sir Sydney Olivier 
Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 
Photo by the Author 

>> >* 

M » > 





2 20 


.,..'., ... 225 

„ „ ,, ... 226 

Photo by Mr. Raphael, African World 227 

Photo by the Author . . . 227 

Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall . . 229 

Photo per Bishop of Nassau . . 230 
Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall . .231 
By the British Museum, Natural 

History . ... 232 

Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 
Photo by the Author 

») M 

Photo by Mr. W. H. Fenton, per 
Douglas Young, Esq., C. M.G. 

Photo lent by Douglas Young, Esq., 

Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 

Photo by Mr. W. H. Fenton 

Photo by the Author 



From an engraving by Brunyas in 
Bryan Edwards's History of the 
West Indies, 1798 . . . 243 

After Bryan Edwards's History of the 
West Indies ... . . 244 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by Mr. W. Harris, f.l.s. 


























2 54 
2 5S 








An old mansion of slavery days, Northern 

Jamaica . . ... 

Negro peasant women, Jamaica 
The ruins of Jamaica . ... 

A negro peasant returning from market, Jamaica 
The back yards of negro houses in a small 

northern town of Jamaica 
Sunday in a small Jamaican country town . 
A Jamaica constable of the rural constabulary . 
The new wealth of Jamaica : a banana planta- 
tion . . . ... 

The home of a prosperous negro planter, 

A Jamaican negro farmer and bee-keeper 
A street in Kingston, Jamaica 
A country school : Central Jamaica 
In the Blue Mountains of Jamaica . 
A Teshi woman : Eastern Gold Coast 
A Moshi woman : Northern Gold Coast 
The Omanhin of Insuain, a negro chieftain of 

the borders of Togoland, descended from 

typical slave-dealing potentates . 
A Jamaican negro artisan 
A negro homestead in North Jamaica 
One of the five hundred waterfalls of Jamaica 
Ferns in Jamaica 
A Jamaican peasant woman offering author 

large bunch of orchids . 
Crinoids fished up on north coast of Jamaica 
A wild banana . . . . 

Logwood trees in the Jamaica spring 
The lovely Gliricidia tree . 
A " poor relations " tree . 
A Bromeliaceous epiphyte growing on tree trunk 

Jamaica . . . . 

A road in Western Jamaica 
A tiny harbour on the north coast of Jamaica 
Cayman Islanders : Grand Cayman 
An old fort, dating from the early eighteenth 

century, New Providence Island, Bahamas 
A street in Nassau, showing Christchurc 

Cathedral . . . 

The Governor of the Bahama Islands on his wa_ 

to open House of Assembly 
A good type of negro seaman : Bahama Islands 
A group of negro peasant women and children, 

Bahama Islands . . 

A negro dwelling on a country road, New 

Providence Island . ... 

A corner of the exterior of the coloured people's 

church of St. Agnes, Nassau 
Interior of St. Agnes' Church, Nassau 
A sponge-drying yard, Nassau 
A sponge cart in the streets of Nassau 
A Sisal fibre plantation, Bahama Islands . 
The " grape-fruit " . . . . 


Photo bv the Author 

Photo by Capt. 
Photo by Sergea 

T. C. Hincks 
it A. Stiles, R.A 

Photo by Capt. T. C. H 
Photo by the Author 

Photo by W. Harris, Esq , F.L.S 
Photo bv the Author 


Photo by Mr. Isaac Carvalho 
Photo by Mr. Isaac N. Carvalho 
Photo bv His Honour G. S. S. Hirst 

Photo lent by the Bishop of Nassau 
Photo by the Bishop of Nassau . 

Photo by Dr. Holly, Nassau 
Photo by the Bishop of Nassau 



















Photo by Sir Gilbert Carter, K.C.M.G. 301 

Photo by the Bishop of Nassau . 302 

Photo by Sir Gilbert Carter, K.C.M.G. 303 

. 304 






-> — "» 
~ / - 











2 93 















An incipient hurricane 

The little " Piton," St. Lucia Island 
Kingston, St. Vincent, Windward Islands . 
The Carenage, Grenada, Windward Islands 
By the Grand Ktang, interior of Grenada Island 
The negro soldier : a corporal of the British 

West India Regiment . 
Off the north-west coast of Trinidad 
A fruit-seller, Port of Spain, Trinidad 
A negro hut, Trinidad 
A negro coconut-seller in Trinidad . 
Indian kulis, Trinidad 

A cacao tree bearing pods of cocoa beans . 
The shallow coasts of Western Trinidad . 
Trees in Trinidad festooned with the Rhipsctlis 

" Mistletoe " cactus 
The Belize River, British Honduras 
A mahogany tree 
A hybrid between Negro and Amerindian, re 

sembling the Black Caribs 
A typical Boviander, British Guiana 
A Boviander, same as No. 285 
A Boviander of British Guiana 
East Indian kuli women . 
East Indian kulis, British Guiana . 
A young woman of British Guiana, three-quarte: 

Negro, one-quarter Chinese 
A hybrid between Negro and East Indian 

Guiana . . . . 

Granville Sharp . . . 

Thomas Clarkson 
William Wilberforce 
Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Bart. . 
Christiansborg Castle, Gold Coast . 
Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden 
Charlotte-Amalia, capital of St. Thomas . 
Leonard Dober, one of the two first Moravian 

missionaries to settle in the West Indies 
Friedrich Martin, first Moravian missionary t 

explore Dutch Guiana . 
Cotton . . . . 

Isaac T. Hopper: a typical early nineteenth 

century Quaker and anti-slavery reformer 
William Lloyd Garrison 
John P. Hale : one of the anti-slavery Kansas 

agitators . . . 

Harriet Beecher-Stowe (about 1852) 
Charles Sumner . . . . 

John Brown's portrait and autograph 
Abraham Lincoln 
President Lincoln's signature to the Proclama 

tion of Emancipation 
A graveyard of Federal and Confederate soldiers 

at Hampton . . . 

The unregenerate type of slavery days ( 

Virginian negro) 


Photo by the Author 
Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 
Photo lent by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 
Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 

Photo lent by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 
Photo by the Author 

Photo lent by the Colonial Office 
Photo by Messrs. Duperty 
Photo by the Author 

Per Mr. A. E. Aspinall . 
Photo by the Author 

Photo by Sir Everard Im Thurn 
Photo by Mr. James Rodway . 

Photo lent by the Colonial Office 
Photo by Mr. James Rodway . 

Print lent by Religious Tract Society 

Photo by Capt. T. C. Hincks 
Photo by the African World 
Photo by Mr. A. E. Aspinall 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by the Author 

Photo lent bv Southern IVorkman 






3 12 




3 2 5 


33 2 







3 6 3 

3 6 9 




312 The Persimmon tree {Diospyros virginiana) 

313 The typical Bayou of the Southern States . 

314 A " Great House " of former days and its setting' 

of live oaks . . . . 

315 Cotton bales grown by free negroes, collected 

for transport . . . 

316 General Samuel Chapman Armstrong 

317 Colonel Robert Gould Shaw 

318 Dr. Hollis Burke Frissell . 

319 "Late for lunch": Hampton Institute, 1 p.m. 

320 The Principal's house, Hampton 

321 A real negro minstrel 

322 A negro student of Hampton 

323 Hampton students at their meals 

324 A negro student in his room at Hampton . 

325 A Hampton woman-student in her room 

326 An Amerindian woman-student, Hampton In 

stitute . . . . 

327 In St. Helena Island, South Carolina 

328 Types of negro students : Atlanta University 

Georgia . . . . 

329 Professor W. E. Burghardt DuBois 

330 One of the few surviving Maskogi Amerindian 

of westernmost Alabama 

331 Mr. Lewis Adams, the negro tinsmith who helped 

to found Tuskegee Institute 

332 The "frame houses and ruined chapel" which 

formed the commencement of the Tuskegee 
Institute . . ... 

333 Booker Taliaferro Washington, lld., Harvard 

334 A Tuskegee student . ... 

335 The Carnegie Library : Tuskegee Institute 

336 The Librarian at Tuskegee and his assistant 

337 A practical field lesson in agriculture 

338 The creamery and milk-testing school at Tuskegee 

339 An octoroon parlourmaid trained at Tuskegee 

340 An octoroon student at Tuskegee 

341 Dr. Robert E. Park 

342 Professor G. W. Carver . 

343 Major J. B. Ramsay, Tuskegee 

344 A prosperous negro farmer of Alabama 

345 A negro farmer of Alabama exhibiting at 

county fair . . . . 

346 The dreadful roads of Alabama 

347 Mr. T. M. Campbell, agricultural instructor 

348 In lovely Alabama : " the roads are often shallow 


349 Mr. T. M. Campbell giving advice to a negro 

farmer on maize-growing 

350 A negro's log cabin, Alabama 

351 A negro waggoner, Alabama 

352 A negro's cow, Alabama . 

353 A negro school and church, backwoods of Alabama 

354 A small country school for negro children, 

Alabama . . ... 

355 A negro minister at a camp meeting 


Photo bv the Author 

Photo bv the Author 

per Southern Workman 

Per Miss Grace Bigelow-House 
Per W. E. B. DuBois . 

Per Southern Workman . 
Per Dr. Booker Washington 

Photo by the Author 
Per Tuskegee Institute 
Photo by the Author 
Per Tuskegee Institute 

Photo by the Author 
Per Tuskegee Institute 
Photo by the Author 
Per Tuskegee Institute 

Photo bv the Author 

Photo bv the Author 

Photo bv the Author 

Per Tuskegee Institute 




















a negro bootmaker 
: a coloured store 


356 The former residence of a governor of Alabama, 

now owned and inhabited by a coloured mer- 
chant, born the governor's slave . 

357 In the pine-woods of Alabama 

358 "Spanish Moss" in the mystic dream-woods of 

the Southern States 

359 " L'Homme a tout faire" 

trained at Tuskegee 

360 " L'Homme a tout faire 

keeper, Alabama 

361 A poster advertisement of a travelling negro 

theatrical company 

362 "L'Homme a tout faire": a negro electrical 

engineer, trained at Tuskegee 

363 Untidy America : towns along the Mississipp 


364 Isaiah Montgomery 

365 The church and part of the township : Mound 

Bayou, Miss. . 

366 Loading waggons with cotton grown by negro 

farmers at Mound Bayou 

367 A negro homestead, Mound Bayou . 

368 " Palaces and mud " (Greenville, Miss. ) 

369 Cotton bales awaiting shipment — banks of th 

Mississippi . . . 

370 Three generations of Louisiana negroes 

371 A negro centenarian : Louisiana 

372 The " Great House " of a Louisiana sugar-plan 


373 The negro and his mules — carting the sugar 

cane . . . 

374 A negro plantation foreman 

375 Outside a sugar manufactory : Louisiana . 

376 The Pliocene, evergreen dream-woods of Loui 

siana . . . 

377 The Author on the Mississippi 

378 The hideous head-dress of the Louisiana ne 


379 Louisiana negroes 

380 New Orleans 

381 " Uneducated semi-savages " 

382 Tired wayfarers : negro labourers tramping in 

search of employment 

383 " Possible petty larceny " 

384 " L'Homme a tout faire" : negroes laying down 

a tramway in Florida 

385 Once a slave : Virginia 

386 A dear old negro nurse or "mammy" of the 

ideal type : Virginia 

387 "L'Homme a tout faire": a negro mason 

Virginia . . . 

388 " L'Homme a tout faire" : a negro coachman in 


389 "L'Homme a tout faire": a negro street 

attendant, Washington . 

390 Brobdingnagian New York 


Photo by the Author 

>> »> 

>' >> 

Per Tuskegee Institute 
Photo by the Author 

Per Tuskegee Institute 
Photo by the Author 

Photo by the Author 

Photo by the Author 

>> >> !) 

Photo by Mr. A. Greaves 

Photo by the Author 

>> )» )> 

Photo by Mr. A. Greaves 
Photo per Southern Workman 

Photo by the Author 

Photo per Southern Workman 

Photo by the Author 

Photo per Southern Workman 

Photo by Mr. A. Greaves 

Photo by the Author 








44 1 







45 2 


45 6 











391 Awaiting the suffrage, which if hard work counts 

for anything the negress richly deserves . 

392 A typical mulatto farmer of the Southern 

United States . . ... 

393 A sketch-map showing approximate distribution 

of negroes, etc., in the United States 

394 The negro and the Stars and Stripes 


Per Tuskegee Institute 

Lent by U.S.A. Government 
Per Southern Workman . 


• 477 

• 478 

• 479 
. 481 



A Map of the Greater Antilles and Bahamas 

. Opposite page 46 

Lesser Antilles ; of Trinidad, Barbados, the Guianas, and 
of British Honduras . . . . . 





THE genus Homo has but one existing species: Homo sapiens. And this 
species (which according to the latest hypotheses of palaeontologists may 
be two or three hundred thousand years old) is fairly divisible into four sub- 
species, all of which are so fertile 
in their cross-breeding with one 
another that they have in the 
course of time given rise to many 

transitional races and interme- -&^.. 

diary types : so much so that only 
about two-thirds of the living 
peoples of to-day can be de- 
cisively allotted to one or other 
of the definite sub-species. The 
remaining third comprises the 
long-established mongrel, hybrid 
races formed by the mixture of 
some or even of all of these 
four divisions of the existing 
human species. These distin- 
guishable sub-species are — 

(i) The AUSTRALOID, near- 
est of all living men to the an- 
cestral Human, to the palaeolithic 
man of Europe and North 
Africa ; and to the possible 
parent thereof — Homo primi- 
genius, the man of Neanderthal 
and Heidelberg, of the Correze, 
of Spy, Krapina, and Gibraltar. 

(2) The Negro. 

(3) The Caucasian or EUROPEAN, possibly descended in a direct line from 
the Australoid or basal stock, with which in any case it is closely allied. 

(4) The Mongolic or Asiamerican. 

A native of Gilbert River, Northern Australia 


An ancient mingling of (i), (2), (3), and (4) has produced the Polynesian 
type of (2), (3), and (4) — (4) predominating — the Japanese. The Amerindian 
peoples are mainly descended from an early branch of Mongolic mixed with 
Proto-Caucasian ; there are many tribes in the Malay Archipelago that are half 
Mongol, half Negrito (Asiatic Negro) ; the natives of Madagascar are a mixture 
of Mongolic-Polynesian and Negro. Negrito and Australoid in varying degrees 
of intermixture have produced the Tasmanian negroids and the Papuans. The 
aborigines of Ceylon (Veddahs) and India (Dravidians, Todas, etc.) are on the 
borderland between Australoid and Caucasian with (here and there) a touch 
of Negrito or Mongol. Some of the Central Asians or North Europeans are 
Caucasians crossed with Mongols, the two strains being either evenly balanced 
or one of them predominating. The proud peoples of Western and Southern 
Europe and of North Africa, of Syria, Arabia, and Persia are principally com- 
posed of Caucasian tinged very slightly or considerably with ancient or modern 
Negro, or Australoid (Dravidian) blood; the warlike tribes of North-East Africa 
are half Caucasian, half Negro. The very negro himself is scarcely of unmixed 
sub-specific rank, except in his extreme Bushman-Hottentot, Pygmy, and West 
African Forest types. Elsewhere a meandering rill of Caucasian — perhaps even 
of Australoid — blood permeates Negro Africa and Negrito Asia. 

The Australoid is characterised by a dark skin, a hairy body, black, 
wavy head-hair, full beard, large teeth, a broad, curved nose, very projecting 
brow-ridges, prognathous jaws, and a hypsiloid 1 rather than a semicircular 
palate. In the configuration and development of the brain, the heavy brow- 
ridges, the proportions of the leg-bones, the spines of the neck-vertebrae, the 
lumbar curve of the vertebral column, and the shape and proportions of the 
foot, 2 the Australoid is slightly more ape-like than the other divisions of 
Homo sapiens. 

The NEGRO probably sprang from the basal Australoid stock and thus 
inherited a dark-coloured skin, which in some developments of his sub-species 
— Asiatic and African — becomes almost brownish or greyish black. But in 
the very divergent Bushman branch of the Negro sub-species the skin colour is 
a brownish yellow — almost a light olive-yellow among the Cape Colony Bush- 
men — through which the mantling of the blood can be seen in the cheeks. It 
is possible that the lighter pigmentation of the skin in the Bushmen is a feature 
due to distinctive variation, and does not represent the original tint of the 
primal negro. But that this tint was not the sooty black 3 so characteristic of 
the modern negroes in Africa and Asia is probable from the fact that most 
negro babies are born with reddish-brown skins, and that this shade is the 
commonest skin-colour among the Congo pygmies. In the pale-skinned negroes 

1 i.e. shaped like a croquet hoop. 

2 The pithecoid foot is seen perhaps (so far as our very imperfect records go) in its most marked form 
amongst the Australoid-Negroid natives of the Solomon Islands, and occasionally among the Australian 
blacks ; while in a less extreme degree it is characteristic of the African pygmies and Forest negroes. In 
this pithecoid form of foot the greatest breadth is not from the second joint of the big toe to the second 
joint of the little toe, but across the tips of the toes. There is a distinct space between the big toe and 
the next, and instead of the big toe making a marked angle at the inner edge of its second joint and 
turning outwards towards the other toes, it is smaller in proportion (than the big toe of the European), 
and is placed either in a straight line with the inner side of the heel or even turns markedly inwards. 
The other toes are larger, longer, more separated, divergent, and projecting than with Europeans, and 
the instep is less arched. 

3 Elsewhere I have written on this subject : " The skin colour of the Nilotic negro is dark almost 
to blackness. That of the Forest negro tends rather towards chocolate-brown, while the skin colour of 
the Pygmies is more usually 'red' (in the estimation of their darker neighbours): in reality a warm 



there is often a dark streak down the centre of the abdomen. The skin of the 
inner side of hand and foot is always paler — a pinkish yellow. Albinism is common 
among negroes, producing a pinkish-white skin, red iris to the eyes, and yellow- 
white hair. Another phase equally common is Xanthism, in which hair and skin 
are tinged with yellow, and the iris of the eye is a pale yellow like that of a lion. 
The Negro, however, is most marked out from the other sub-species of Homo 

A Kru man from the Km Coast, Liberia 

sapiens by his hair. On head and body alike the adult hair is coarse, and 
tightly curled or kinky in spiral growths. It is without natural gloss or lustre, 
and is of a dull black colour. Occasionally in the Pygmy or Forest races the 
head-hair is brownish or greenish grey, or may even have a tinge of red. 1 In 

1 It is extraordinary how in North America and in the West Indies the crossing of the Negro with 
the " Nordic" (fair-haired) Caucasian brings out a tendency— deep-seated in the Human species— to red 
hair. Innumerable negroids in Anglo-Saxon America have bright red hair. 


the Negro foetus the hair- follicle is only slightly curved. The hair of the negro 
baby at birth grows almost straight and its transverse section is nearly round 
throughout the length of the hair ; whereas after the child is a year old the 
hairs, curled in several spirals, emerge at an oblique angle from the plane of 
the skin surface, the hair-follicle in the epidermis is strongly curved, and a 
transverse section of the hair near its emergence from the skin would be in the 
form of a flattened ellipse. But the transverse section of the hair near its outer 

An Anglo-Saxon American (W. Plumer, an anti-slavery reformer of the middle nineteenth century) 

extremity is almost circular. In the negro moustache the hairs are nearly if not 
quite straight, and the yellowish, fleecy lanugo-like body-pile present in so 
many adult male pygmies (and even in pygmy women and children) is either 
straight or only slightly crimped. There is a further peculiarity of hair-growth 
in the African negroes 1 and more especially in the Bushmen : both on the head 
and body the hair appears to grow in segregated groups, bands, or patches, 

1 This peculiarity is not observable in the Asiatic negroes and is very much diminished in the 
American types, partly no doubt because these are almost entirely derived from the hairy West African 


separated by bald areas or zigzag streaks. I write " appears," because the hair- 
follicles are in actuality evenly distributed ; but the hairs if short and very 
tightly curled converge to one another in little islets or tufts. This is most 
marked near the temples, and in the whiskers and abdominal hair of men. The 
Southern Bushmen possess to an exaggerated degree this feature of the tightly 
crimped, short head-hair growing in isolated tufts or rows ; but their more 
northern examples scarcely differ in this respect from the normal negro type. 
The segregation of the hair-tufts is a fairly constant feature throughout East 
Africa, but is less observable (except on the bod}-) among the Pygmies and 
West African negroes. 

Body-hair is present among all types of Negro at the armpits and pubes, 
and is fairly abundant among the males of the West African and Pygmy 
groups on the chest, abdomen, and front side of thighs and legs. No example 
has been recorded among negroes of hair on the back, a simian feature confined 
to sub-species (1) and (3). 1 Amongst the Bushmen-Hottentots hair on the 
body is entirely absent (except armpits and pubes), but beard and moustache 
grow in all men over thirty years of age. The East African and Nilotic 
Negroes are also rather hairless about the body. 

The typical Negro skull is long' 2 and very prognathous — only less so than 
in the Australoids. But with rare exceptions in the African negro and the 
Asiatic negritos there is no prominence of the brow-ridges. These are un- 
usually suppressed in the Bushman. In this point the Negro sub-species is 
less pithecoid than the Australoid or the European. The forehead bulges 
more than in other types of man. The nasal aperture is wide ; the nasal 
bones are flatter and snorter than in Europeans. 3 The nasal spine which sup- 
ports the septum between the nostrils is poorly developed or even absent. The 
nose itself is (in the pure negro) very flattened and depressed in the bridge, and 
the alee or nostrils are thick and almost raised to the level of the nose-tip in 
extreme types. In this respect the Bushman is as primitive as other African 
negroes, but in some examples the nose is proportionately smaller, though even 
flatter than in the black negro ; this peculiarly flattened aspect of the Bushman 
face is caused by the excessive prominence of the cheek-bones. In the Asiatic 
negroes, the nose is flat and " African " among the Aeta of the Philippines and 
the Samang of the Malay Peninsula ; but has a better-developed bridge among 
the Andamanese and (extinct) Tasmanians, and also (but with many exceptions) 
among the Solomon Islanders. In respect of nose development and shape it may 
be said that the Negro is more pithecoid than any existing human race, except 
the lowest types of Australoids. 

In typical negro skulls the width across the brows (through the temples) is 
markedly less— especially in women and children — than across the cheek-bones, 
while at the same time the under-jaw is retreating and the chin small. This 
configuration is (to our ideas of comely form) singularly unpleasing and gives 
the negro face an almost hexagonal or pentagon shape instead of the European 
oval. But it is a shape of face not at all uncommon in the inferior types of all 
the other sub-species, though particularly marked in the African Negro and the 

1 Some Kafir men, however, are said to develop hair on the back. The western section of the 
Kafir-Zulu group is very hairy for negroes. 

- The ordinary Bushman skull is less prognathous and is rounder (especially in the female) than that 
of the long-headed black negro. Yet there are types of Bushmen and even Hottentots which exhibit an 
extreme degree of prognathism. These may be survivals of the older " Strandlooper " race. See pp. 20 27. 

3 In several skulls from the Congo basin the nasal bones are fused into a single bone. 


The upper lip in some Asiatic negroes, in the Congo pygmy and the West 
African groups (especially the people of the Niger delta, Abeokuta, and Benin) 
is long and even arched in outline, like the upper lip in the African anthropoid 

An Englishman : early twentieth century 

apes. In such cases (where it is long and curved) its inner mucous surface is 
but little exposed ; but in all African negroes and Bushmen the lower lip is 
much everted, and in the great majority of the sub-species, in Asia as in Africa, 
both lips are turned outward (exposing the mucous surface very considerably) in 
marked contrast to the thin-lipped, close-mouthed Mongol or North European. 


Dark skin, squash nose, woolly hair, "blubber" lips, and "lark heel"— these are 
the principal taunts flung at the Negro. The dark skin affects not the sculptor's 
eye, but the other four points are the Negro's handicap in the competition for 
the Beauty Prize at some future Interracial Olympiad. Greater refinement of 
life will no doubt tend — is slowly tending— to modify or eliminate the elements 
of facial ugliness ; but the most effective method of doing so is crossing with 
the Caucasian or even the Amerindian. Not, however, with the " Nordic " 
Caucasian, but with the already slightly negrified races of the Mediterranean 
countries, notably the Arab, Egyptian, and Berber. 

The molar teeth of the Negroes are large, but the incisors and canines less 
so than in the Australoids and some Europeans. The white, even, uninterrupted 
teeth of the Negro races are one of their 
beauties. Only in certain types of Nilotic 
negro or negroid, like the Masai, Shiluk, 
and Dinka, is this rule broken by a tendency 
of the incisors to grow long and horse-like 
or with spaces between them. 

The palate of the Negro is rather more 
hypsiloid than semicircular (as with the 
European and Mongol), but this simian 
feature is more marked in the Australoids. 

In average height the African Negro 
(but not the Asiatic) is a taller type of man 
than any other sub-species except the Cau- 
casian and its Polynesian hybrid. The 
tallest races (for tribal average) in the world 
are of the negro stock (Eastern and Equa- 
torial Africa) ; but at the same time the 
Negro has produced (no doubt by partial 
degeneration) the smallest known human 
types — the Congo pygmies, southern Bush- 
men, and Asiatic negritos. 

The Negro is proportionately broader 
across the chest than the other human races 
except the Caucasian and its hybrids, but 
decidedly narrower across the pelvis, though 
this condition is sometimes disguised by the 
excessive development of fat on the upper part of the thighs. The lumbar curve 
of the vertebral column is less marked than in the European and Mongol, but 
more so than in the more simian Australoid. The sacrum (coalesced, post-pelvic 
vertebrae) is slightly narrower in the Negro than in the European, but is not 
so narrow and pithecoid as is the sacrum of the Australoid. Negroes 
(Asiatic as well as African, also Bushmen) commonly possess the "sacral 
notch" — a simian feature very rare in Australoids and Europeans. (This 
is a space or notch opposite the second vertebra of the sacrum, due to 
its attenuation, which is particularly marked in the skeletons of apes and 
monkeys.) The curvature of the sacrum in Asiatic and African Negroes 
and in Bushmen is very slight, much less so, even, than in the Austra- 
loids. In this point and in the broad shoulder-blade the Negroes are 
more pithecoid than any other existing race, or even than the remains 
of Homo primigenius ; for the Australoids have a narrow scapula like 


A Chinaman from Eastern China 





that of Europeans or Mongols. The proportions of the pelvis and the 
os innominatum are very simian in the Bushmen ; less so in Asiatic 
and African negroes and in Australoids. In the proportions of the broad 
shoulder-blade the Congo pygmy is the most ape-like of existing humans. In 


the angle of humeral torsion (motility of upper arm) the negro races are inferior 
to the European but superior to the Australoids. The proportions of the leg-bones 
in the African negro are slightly simian and in the Asiatic negroes those 
of the arm-bones also. (Namely, the lower leg is proportionately longer in 
comparison to the thigh and the upper arm shorter in relation to the lower 

The negro hands are small and the fingers short. Both hands and feet in 
the Bushman are very small. Polydactylism (six fingers and six toes) is 
perhaps commoner among negroes (especially in West and South Africa and in 
the West Indies) than among the white or yellow peoples. In many cases the 
extra toe or finger is so well formed and complete that at first sight there 
is nothing abnormal in the appearance of the member; and the extra "seventh" 
digit (at the outer edge of the hand or foot : not the real " first finger," the 
" pre-pollex " or " pre-hallux ") usually occurs on both hands and both feet in 
the same individual. [This feature is well illustrated in the Report on the 
Bahama Islands by the Geographical Society of Baltimore.] In the West African 
negro (and ancient European negroes) there is a considerable development of 
heel 1 (backward prolongation of the os calcaneuni). This is not a simian feature 
but one that is ultra human. It does not seem to occur in the Asiatic negroes, 
Bushmen, or Congo pygmies, but is observable in the plain-dwelling natives of 
India. In the eastern Asiatic negroes the foot in the position and relative length 
of the toes is as pithecoid as in some Australoids {vide pp. 8 and 2). The same 
features occur among Congo pygmies and East and West Africans. Among the 
Bushmen, Hottentots, and less frequently the north-east African negroids a 
most distinctive and peculiar feature has been developed : steatopygia, or the 
accumulation of gluteal fat to a degree (more especially in the women) which 
makes the posterior jut out almost horizontally from the body. This develop- 
ment, so far, is seldom recorded among Asiatic negroes- or negritos (it is 
essentially ////-simian) or among the typical negroes of Africa. There is a com- 
mencement of it among the Congo pygmies, in men and women of the Nilotic 
negroes or even the negroid Ba-hima, Somalis or Egyptians. It is occasionally 
observed in American negroes. Bushman or Hottentot children are born 
without any trace of it (ordinary negro children have an even slighter gluteal 
development than occurs in Europeans of the same age), and in adult Bushman 
or Hottentot males the development may be absent or in any case is far less 
pronounced than in the women, with whom it amounts to a positive monstrosity. 

/// the external male and female genitalia the Negro sub-species has developed 
peculiarities which are divergencies from the common human type but are not 
simian features. It is not necessary to redescribe them here 3 in detail, but it 
might be mentioned that the hypertrophy of the intromittent organ which is 
characteristic of male negroes (perhaps not male Bushmen) — with a correspond- 
ing exaggeration of the clitoris in the negress — is also met with in the Asiatic 

1 The " lark heel" is probably brought about by much walking on Hat ground and is more observable 
in negroes living on the plains than in those inhabiting mountains. 

2 According to Carl Ribe (Zwei jahre unter den Kannibalen der Salomo-Inseln), steatopygia occurs 
among the Asiatic negroes of the northern Solomon Islands and in some examples is " hottentotenartig." 
E. H. Man records it among the female Andamanese, but leads one to infer that the deposit of fat is rather 
on the lateral side of the thighs and hips and not on the buttocks. This lateral accumulation of fat is 
characteristic of West African negresses. 

3 Vide for a sufficient summary of these points Morphology and Ant '/tropology : a handbook for 
students, by W. L. H. Duckworth, M.A. My statements are also based on information available in the 
collections of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 


negro (Andamanese and North Solomon Islanders) and is in contrast to the very 
moderate development of the same parts in the adjoining Australoids. Essen- 
tially characteristic of the women among the Bushman-Hottentots, and (sporadi- 
cally) of certain tribes in the South Central Congo, in portions of the Nile 
Valley and East Africa is the "tablier Egyptien," a hypertrophy of the labia 
minora of the vulva. 

The cranial capacity of the average negro is distinctly higher than in 
the Australoid (lowest of existing humans in that respect). The average is 
about 1260 cubic centimetres in the Asiatic male negro, 1331 c.c. in the Bush- 
man, and 1388 in the African male negro} In the male Australoid it is 124.5 
c.c. In the Caucasian races the cranial capacity ranges in males from 1500 
c.c. to 1600 c.c. ; in the Mongolic group from 1500 to 1580 c.c. 

The average Negro brain is larger than the Australoid but smaller than that 
of normal Europeans. The average weight of negro brains is about 1200 
grammes. But the range of weights is extreme, from a recorded 974 gr. to 
1445 gr. The American (U.S.A.) average would seem to be distinctly higher : 
about 1300 gr. (stated at 1331 by Parker in reference to Negro soldiers in the 
War of Secession. 2 The " sulcus lunatus," a fissure in each lobe of the hinder 
part of the brain (a feature very marked in apes and monkeys) is normally 
present in Negro (and Australoid) brains, but is very rare in the pure Caucasian 

The iris of the Negro eye is dark brown, and the " white " or sclerotic is often 
(as in apes) pigmented — a dull reddish yellow. But this is rather a character- 
istic of the male, and of the lower types of negroes and Bushmen ; it is rarely 
seen in women and never in children. Negro infants at birth and for a short 
time afterwards have not infrequently a dark, greyish-blue iris. The plica 

1 There is a considerable difference — from one to two hundred cubic centimetres — between the male 
and female skull capacities in all races, not excepting the Negro. The cranial capacity of the female 
Asiatic Negro falls as low as 1130 c.c. In a femaleAkka dwarf (Congo pygmy of Upper Welle River, 
Equatorial Africa), it was only 1070 c.c. In female Bushmen, however, it is usually about 1260 c.c. 
The lowest record among existing humans is a capacity of about 910 c.c. for a female Veddah. The 
skull capacity of Pithecanthropos erectus is estimated (now) at over 900 c.c. ; of an adult male Gorilla 
(highest record among the anthropoid apes) at 573 c.c. 

Among the American and Sudanian negroes (males) the record rises as high as 1450 c.c. But this 
is markedly exceeded in two Negroid skulls found in the Grottos of Grimaldi (Maritime Alps : see p. 26) 
and dating back to perhaps thirty thousand years ago, in which the skull capacity for the female was 
1 375 c ' c -> an( i for the male 1580 c.c. 

Curiously enough, the cranial capacity of the Neanderthal Skull {Homo primigenius : presumably 
a male) was as high as 1500 c.c. (Dr. A. Keith, of the Royal College of Surgeons Museum, thinks it was 
even higher), very much above the Australian male average; and the "La Chapelle" Neanderthaloid 
skull, with an ape-like face, was 1626 c.c. in its cranial capacity. The lowest "prehistoric" record is 
the female Gibraltar skull, which was only 1080 c.c. (Dr. A. Keith.) But the Hominidtz required a rapid 
and enormous brain development in their evolution to compete with other large mammals in the struggle 
for existence and for world-wide distribution. Once the victory was won and Humanity acquired there 
could be here and there stagnation or even very slight retrogression in brain development, while the rest 
of the body was nevertheless being brought up to and maintained within the scope of the species Homo 

2 The average weight of Australoid brains is guessed at 1185 grammes (Davis, quoted by Duckworth, 
p. 433, Morphology and Anthropology). The average among the European races (with a very large 
range) is probably 1400 gr. The extremes recorded are 964 gr. and 1842 gr. It is thought that 
Bismarck's brain would have weighed even more. His skull capacity was over 1900 c.c. ! The average 
weight of the Asiatic and Eskimo-Mongol brain is probably very close to the Caucasian average, but 
that of Amerindians is said to be a little lower. Duckworth considers the Eskimo average superior to 
the Caucasian. The normal European range is between 1304 gr. and 1502 gr. Professor Waldeyer, of 
Berlin, gave in 1894 an average weight of only 11 48 gr. for East African Negro brains. The Bushman 
brain would appear to weigh scarcely more than 1260 gr. In all races there is a marked difference 
in weight between male and female brains, that of the male being nearly 160 grammes heavier than the 
female. This difference — not quite so great — would appear to exist between male and female negroes. 


1 1 

semilunaris, a vertical fold of membrane immediately next to the lachiymal 
caruncle at the inner corner of the eye, is more developed in Negroes (especially 
Bushmen) and in Australoids than it is in the white races. It is the vestige of 
the third eyelid (nictitating membrane) and is often considerably developed in 
monkeys and other mammals, and is functional in birds and reptiles. In the 
negro this plica semilunaris'^ usually a reddish brown and lends a rather reddish 
tinge to the half-opened eye. The retractor oculis present in most monkeys and 
other mammals also occurs occasionally in negroes, and never in the white race. 

A striking peculiarity in the African Negro is the musky or goat-like smell 
exhaled from the sweat, more especially from the axillary and inguinal glands. 
The odour is markedly characteristic of the African (it has not hitherto been 
recorded of the Asiatic negro) ; but also occurs to a much slighter degree in 
Europeans and East Indians as an exhalation from the armpits (more especially). 
Yet I would make bold to say that this skin odour is not as disgusting as that 
which proceeds from heated, unwashed 
Europeans and Asiatics. It is practi- 
cally absent from many Africans who 
keep their bodies constantly washed. I 
mixed with many negro crowds and 
assemblies in the United States and 
scarcely once noticed any disagreeable 
smell, for the negroes, like the indigenous 
whites of the great American republic, 
seem to be an inherently cleanly people. 
I only detected disagreeable body odours 
proceeding from the offensively dirty 
Chinese travelling in the public cars, or 
from newly landed immigrants in New 

From this review of the physical 
features or peculiarities of the NEGRO 
sub-species it will be gathered inferen- 
tially that he is a distinct improvement 
on the Australoid in cranial development 
and is less simian in all other classificatory points, except in the shape of the 
shoulder-blade (which is very broad) and in the outline of the sacrum, which 
in all negroes is very much less curved than in Australoids, Caucasians, and 

In the retention of the brow-ridges and the tendency to the development 
of hair on the body (mostly in males) the CAUCASIAN has remained more 
generalised than the other sub-species, except the basal Australoid stock ; and 
in the evolving of varieties (chiefly Nordic) with yellow, red, or brown 
hair, and blue or grey eyes, the Caucasian is most aberrant, stands alone : 
for all the other divisions of Homo sapiens have black or blackish- 
brown 1 hair and a brown iris to the eye. The Caucasian also is the only 
human race which in itself or in its hybrids with the other groups can 
produce perfect beauty of facial outline according to the aesthetic canons of 
the Negro, Mongol, and Caucasian. Facially, the unmixed Mongol (a term 

1 In some of the South American Amerindians, there is an underlying element of red in the 
hair-tint which produces an effect of colour like the pigment known as ''warm sepia." Reddish hair 
occasionally appears in the Congo pygmies, to say nothing of Negro hybrids. 

Cape Colony 



which includes the Eskimo but not the Amerindian) is as ugly as the 
Negro : uglier, indeed, to the eye of a European ; for he has not the full, 
melting, long-lashed eye of the African, the rich bronze skin, the splendid 
physical proportions, and the frank, jolly look. 1 The Mongol has the hexagonal 
face, the exaggerated cheek-bone and low-bridged nose of the lower types of 

negroes, he has in some 
of the south-east Asia- 
tics a prehensile great 
toe ; and his want of 
brow-ridges deprives his 
moon-face of relief, ex- 
pression", and the god-like 
majesty of the handsome 
European, Arab, or Pan- 
jabi, or the virile deter- 
mination of the negro 
warrior. But the China- 
man, Tibetan, Japanese, 
Tartar, Samoyede, Ame- 
rindian, and Eskimo have 
the brains of a white man. 
Intellectually they are — 
let us say — twenty thou- 

1 " As to faces, the peculiari- 
ties of the negro countenance 
are well known in caricature ; 
but a truer pattern may be seen 
by those who wish to study it 
any day among the statues of 
the Egyptian rooms in the British 
Museum : the large gentle eye, 
the full but not over-protruding 
lips, the rounded contour, and 
the good-natured, easy, sensuous 
expression. This is the genuine 
African model: one not often 
to be met with in European or 
American thoroughfares, where 
the plastic African too readily 
acquires the careful look and even 
the irregularity of the features 
that surround him ; but which is 
common enough in the villages 
and fields where he dwells after 
his own fashion among his own 
people : most common of all in 
the tranquil seclusion and con- 
genial climate of a Surinam 
plantation. There you may 
find, also, a type neither Asiatic 
nor European, but distinctly 
African ; with much of inde- 
pendence and vigour in the male 
physiognomy and something that 
approaches, if it does not quite 
reach, beauty in the female. 
Rameses and his queen were cast 
in no other mould." (W. G. Pal- 
9. SKULL OF MALE NEGRO, U.S.A. grave, Dutch Guiana, 1876.) 

San Cristoval, Solomon Islands 


J 3 

sand years ahead of the average negro in cranial capacity, and in volume, 
weight, and convolutions of the brain. Physically (except for the aberrant 
Eskimo) they are classed by some anatomists with the White sub-species, 
from which they only differ in some slight facial deformity, in their relative 
hairlessness of body, and lank, round-sectioned head-hair. 

But evolution does not always proceed slowly or at a uniform pac3. Already 
individual Africans or Aframeri- 
cans of unmixed negro blood ; 
or Negroid hybrids with the 
Mediterranean White man or the 
Nordic rulers of the world, have 
shot far ahead of their grand- 
father the palaeolithic savage, 
and (if they could be placed on 
the dissecting-table) would re- 
veal an extreme of brain de- 
velopment which would rank 
them with the average European 
or Asiatic. 

The author of this book in 
his work on British Central 
Africa, written some years ago, 
ventured to make these remarks 
on the Negro sub-species : — " He 
is a fine animal, but in his wild 
state exhibits a stunted mind 
and a dull content with his sur- 
roundings which induces mental 
stagnation, cessation of all up- 
ward progress, and even a retro- 
gression towards the brute. In 
some respects the tendency of 
the negro for several centuries 
past has been an actually retro- 
grade one. As we come to read 
the unwritten history of Africa 
by researches into languages, 
manners, customs, traditions, we 
seem to see a backward rather 
than a forward movement going 
on for some thousand years past, 
a return towards the savage and 
even the brute. I can believe it 
possible that had Tropical Africa 
been more isolated from contact 
with the rest of the world and 
cut off from the immigration of 
the Arab and the European, 
the purely negro races, left to 
themselves, so far from ad vane- IK SKULL of manbettu negro 

illg towards a higher type Of Northern Congo basin, Central Africa 

West Coast of Africa 





is exag- 

humanity, might have actually reverted by degrees to a type no longer human, 
just as those great apes 1 lingering in the dense forests of Western Africa have 

become in many 
respects degraded 
types that have 
known better days 
of larger brains, 
smaller tusks, and 

geration in this view, 
no doubt, and suffi- 
cient emphasis is not 
laid on the much 
earlier regeneration 
of the black races 
of Africa by the 
influence spreading 
southwards of the 
prehistoric Cauca- 
sians of the Mediter- 
ranean and the his- 
toric Egyptian, the 
last-named beingthe 
foremost redeemer 
of the African. Yet 
it is significant that 
the ancient negroid 
remains of Southern 
France exhibit a 
cranial capacity 
much superior to 
that of the average 
wild African of to- 
day. 2 

Africa is the chief 
stronghold of the 
real Devil — the re- 
actionary forces of 
Nature hostile to the 
uprise of Humanity. 
Here Beelzebub, 
King of the Flies, 
marshals his vermi- 


1 The allusion is to the 

2 So do pygmy skulls 
obtained from old graves 
on the Middle Sanga River 
in the heart of French 
Congo, with a cranial ca- 
pacity of 1440 c.c. 


r 5 

form and arthropod hosts — insects, ticks, and nematode worms — which more 
than in any other continent (excepting negroid Asia) convey to the skin, 
veins, intestines, or spinal marrow of men and other vertebrates the micro- 
organisms which cause 
deadly, disfiguring, or 
debilitating diseases, or 
themselves create the 
morbid condition of the 
persecuted human being, 
beast, bird, reptile, frog, 
or fish. 

Africa and negroid 
Asia — India to the 
Philippines - - seem to 

have been 
centres for 



and maturing the worst 
maladies which have 
afflicted, arrested, or 
exterminated mankind 
and his domestic ani- 
mals. From India came 
dengue fever, small-pox, 
bubonic plague, cholera, 
Asiatic relapsing fever, 
beri-beri, dysentery, ty- 
phus, syphilis, the 
" surra " cattle-sickness, 
and some other zymotic 

Africa on her part 
has originated " Sleep- 
ing Sickness" {Trypano- 
somiasis), which, though 
it has long existed in 
the Dark Continent, 
seems lately to have 
acquired fresh vigour, 
and to be about to de- 
populate much of West 
and West Central Africa. 

In Africa has arisen 
the Nagana or " Tsetse " 
sickness among cattle 
and at least two other 
epidemic diseases among 
the beasts of the field, 
which, like Sleeping 
Sickness and Nagana, 
are caused by Trypano- 
some flagellates intro- 




duced into the blood through the probosces of Glossina flies. 1 Malarial 
fevers caused by Sporozoa may be common to both Africa and Asia in their 
origin, but Africa alone seems to have generated the greatly dreaded Hsemoglo- 
binuria (blackwater fever), which the Negro has recently conveyed to Central 
America. Among other African maladies are Zambezian "relapsing" fever, 
(carried by a poisonous tick), the "yaws" {Frambcesia, a terrible skin disease, 
akin to syphilis, and like it produced by a Treponema flagellate), and a number 
of dangerous illnesses due to the attacks of parasitic worms. 

These are derived from the classes of Flat-worms, Tape-worms, and 
Thread-worms. A noteworthy Flat-worm of the Trematode order is the 
Bilharzia hcematobia, which multiplies in the urinary bladder and causes a 
terrible form of hematuria among the negroes and negroids of tropical Africa 
and America. Elephantiasis is an African disease transported to America, and 
caused by the Nematode Thread-worm, Filaria bancrofti. Another Nematode 
parasite is the well-known Dracunculus medinensis, or Guinea-worm, from which 
James Bruce, the eighteenth-century explorer of the Blue Nile, suffered so 
severely after his return to Europe This also has been carried to tropical 
America (Brazil) by Negro slaves. 

But the worst Nematodes of all are the " Hook-worms " of the allied 
genera 2 Ancylostomum and Necator, now found to be cosmopolitan in their 

1 Treponemes and Trypanosomes are Flagellate Protozoa — excessively minute organisms of the basic 
sub-kingdom, the Protista, which includes the Protozoa and the Protophyta — whose protoplasm develops 
a long whip-like process {flagella) which is used for moving and even for feeding the organism. The 
Flagellates resemble to a remarkable degree the male cells {Spermatozoa) of the Protozoa and of the Higher 
animals (the Metazoa) ; just as the Amoeba, an even simpler form of Protist, resembles the female cells of 
animal organisms. The animalcule which causes Malarial fever is an Amoeboid Sporozoon called 
Hnmamoiba malaria, conveyed to the human blood by Anopheline mosquitoes. An African form of 
dysentery is also due to a similar sporozoon, and so (it is thought) is blackwater fever. Zambezian 
relapsing fever is due to a Treponema. On the other hand, yellow fever (?), the bubonic plague, 
typhoid, dysentery (?), cholera, gonorrhoea, and tuberculosis (besides many other maladies) are due to 
vegetable micro-organisms — Bacteria, bacilli — introduced into the human system by various agencies, 
prominent among which are gnats (mosquitoes), flies, fleas, lice, bugs, and ticks. (The tick belongs to the 
Spider Class.) 

"The common house fly, mosquito, and bed bug in all probability also transmit leprosy'' (Extract 
from the Report on the Bahama Islands by the Geographical Society of Baltimore). Leprosy seems to 
be connected in some way with the eating of decayed fish. According to Mr. E. E. Austen, of the British 
Museum, the Stegomyia genus of mosquitoes conveys yellow fever in Africa and America, Mansonia 
transmits the filarial worms which produce filariasis and elephantiasis, Culex fatigans (a large gnat) is 
the carrier of dengue fever and filariasis. There are numerous species of Anopheles in America, Asia, and 
Europe ready to act as the transmitting agency for malarial (and blackwater) fevers ; in Africa this purpose 
is effected by the allied Myzomyia and Pyretophorus. We therefore now know our enemies and should 
arrange to destroy them. Among other methods might be cited the recent recommendation by Captain 
J. A. M. Vipan, that the little fresh-water fish Girardinus pari/oides, of Barbados and northern South 
America (known by the negroes of Barbados as " Millions," from its numbers), should be distributed as 
widely as possible throughout the ponds and shallow streams of tropical America, because it lives on the 
larvce of mosquitoes. One reason why there is so little malarial fever in Barbados is that Girardinus is 
almost the only fresh- water fish on the island, and therefore has no rivals. It is able consequently to 
devote itself to the destruction of the larvse of gnats which pass the pupal stage in still, shallow water. 
Girardinus and other fish of similar tastes spread all over the world might in time rid humanity of the 
intolerable nuisance of gnats and midges. 

- The Thread-worm class is styled scientifically These almost exclusively parasitic 
worms are subdivided into three orders or sub-orders, of which one — the Nematoda — includes those forms 
more especially known as Thread-worms. This order is again subdivided into seven families, of which 
six contain some of the deadliest enemies of man and other mammals, of birds, reptiles, fish, insects, and 
plants, especially the plants useful to Man. When our Litany is brought up to date and Church services 
are made to appeal to intelligent people, there will be a clause : " From all Nematode worms, Good Lord 
deliver us ! " One of these six families is the Strottgylidce, and in this group are placed the intestinal worms 
specially attacking Man : Ancylostomum duodenale and Necator americanus. Ancylostomum (under the 
name of Agchylosloma — a different rendering of the Greek words "Hook Mouth") was first described 
and named by an Italian investigator, Dubini, in 1843. ^ e found it to be the cause of serious ancemia 


l 7 

range through the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world (extending 
even into the temperate regions). 

Both of these parasites, in a minute larval form, enter the human system 
directly through the skin by way of the 
pores or hair-follicles, and generally in the 
spaces between the fingers or toes, or on 
the wrists ; perhaps also in drinking-water 
or dirty food, which carries them to the 
throat. They pass through the blood into 
the lungs and thence to the intestines, more 
especially that portion of the small intestine 
(below the stomach) called the duodenum. 
Here these dangerous Thread-worms burrow 
into and nip the capillary blood-vessels. 
Not only do they sever them, but they 
inject some poisonous saliva of their own 
which prevents the blood from coagulating, 
and so for hours the tiny veins go on 
bleeding internally. At last the human 
patient suffers from anaemia, takes to eating 
clay, dirt, filth, or incongruous food, becomes 
perpetually tired or insane, and unless cured 
by the expulsion of the worms dies of some 
disease induced by anaemia. 

Whilst the worms are feasting on the 
blood or tissue (it is not certain which) 
the females lay innumerable eggs, and these 
pass out of the human body in the faeces. 
The minute larvae are soon hatched out, and infest the ground round the 
place where the exuviae have been deposited. The larval worms must have 
moisture for further existence, and can live in water. But if after a certain 
stage in their growth they do not enter the human system, they die. 

Seemingly the Negro race, in Asia as in Africa, — and in this connection it 
is interesting to note that the most infested parts of tropical Asia are those 


Negro mixed with Australoid, from New Ireland 
(New Mecklenburg) 

among the poorer people of Milan and North Italy. The first discoverer of " Hook-worms," however, 
in a general sense, was Goeze, a German clergyman and biologist, who in 17S2 found what he called 
" Hair " worms in the intestines of a badger. A later German investigator, Froelich, obtained similar 
worms from the viscera of a fox, and in 1789 named this parasite " Haaken-wurm," from the hook-like 
turn of its head-end. Scientifically he called it Uncinaria vulpis. Dr. Looss, whose inves igations into 
these intestinal worms in Negroes and Egyptians succeeded those of Dr. F. Sandwith, refused to adopt 
Uncinaria as a generic name, as there was such uncertainty about the pirticular type of Hook-worm 
named by Froelich. Dochmius, applied to the Hook-worms by Dujardin in 1845, though long in use, 
has been dropped in favour of the revied Ancylostomum of Dubini, who first of all put his finger on the 
mischief this parasite was working on human beings (other species of Ancylostomum afflict other 

Necator americamis was really discovered and named (in conjunction with Dr. Looss 1 by the great 
American pathologist Dr. Charles Wardell Stiles (now of the U.S.A. Marine Hospital Service), assisted 
by the investigations of Dr. Allen J. Smith, of Texas. Necator was originally thought to be a species of 
Ancylostomum, but, although nearly allied, the generic difference (according to Dr. R. T. Leiper, who 
has kindly supplied me with these notes) can be detected at once under the microscope by even an un- 
learned observer. Though styled " americanus," it is found all over the tropical world, even in Australia, 
and may have been brought from the Old World to the New by the Negro slaves. The most recent 
research into these intestinal parasitic worms has been carried out in Africa (North. South, Fast, West, and 
Central), and by deputy in tropical Asia and Australia by Dr. R. T. Leiper, of the London School ot 
Tropical Medicine. 




A man of Buka Island, northernmost portion 
of Solomon Islands group 

(India, Burma, Malay Peninsula, and Philippines) in which the Negroid element 
of the population is most apparent to an anthropologist — has in the course of ages 

habituated itself to the attacks of the Hook- 
worm, through an intense desire, almost a racial 
obsession, to purge the system with native or 
European drugs or by clysters. This practice 
may have partly helped the Negro in the struggle. 
Yet he suffers — racially — from Anaemia and 
Laziness. May not the Hook-worms have been 
the cause of both, have fettered the progress of 
the Negro for many thousand years ? 

He suffers, in Africa, Asia, and America, 
because he is, as a race, reckless about " sanita- 
tion." With some exceptions like the Baganda, 
the I bo of the Niger Delta, and a few other 
peoples, the Negro and even Negroid in i\frica 
and America (perhaps also in Asia) is heedless 
about the consequences of indiscriminate defeca- 
tion : the men more than the women. It is rare 
in any uncivilised African centre of population 
to find places (as in Buganda) deliberately set 
apart for the deposit of exuviae. Consequently 
the outskirts of African towns are noisome to 
a degree. In those un forested regions where 
there are many vultures, or in the rare districts 
in which pigs are kept (or in the desert where the sun dries up everything) there is 
not so much hook-worm and there is less laziness. But the Congo pygmies have it 
in their systems, and all Negro tribes in tropical Africa suffer from it more or less. 
They imported this parasite into America 1 (no doubt) two or three hundred 
years ago, but it was not discovered nor did 
it attract attention until the beginning of the 
twentieth century. The Negro also (we may 
assume) conveyed the Hook-worm to Egypt.- 
PVom Egypt it travelled to Italy and Central — 
and no doubt other parts of — Europe. In fact 
it may be accountable now for some of the pre- 
vailing "laziness" and anaemia. But of course 
this Nematode worm affects far less the civilised 
populations of the world than it does the semi- 
civilised or savage, those who go about with bare 
feet, live filthily, ignore sanitation, and are care- 
less about drinking-water. 

Hook-worms first attracted the concentrated 
attention of scientific men about 1882, in con- 
nection with the terrible outbreak of "tunnel 

1 An interesting article on the Hook-worms — especially 
Necator americanus, by Miss Marion Hamilton Carter, appeared 
in MiChire's Magazine for October, 1909. It dealt specially 
with the ravages of this parasite among the two million " poor " 
whites in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. 18. oceanic negress 

- Dr. Leiper has derived specimens of both Ancylostomum and Woman of Buka Island, N.W. Solomon 
Necator from the blood of Nyasaland and Mocambique negroes. Islands, Oceania 


J 9 

disease" among the Italian workmen excavating the St. Gotthard tunnel. After 
careful experiments (only possible by making use of dogs as subjects) Dr. 
Bozzolo of Turin, discovered — surely he deserves a Nobel prize? — that an 
unfailing cure — a certain means of expelling the worms — was the drug thymol 
(essence of thyme) followed by Epsom salts. So there is the remedy. It 

Andamanese from near Port Blair, Andaman Islands 

remains now only to diagnose the precise cause of anaemia, laziness, dirt- 
eating, 1 many cases of tuberculosis and diarrhoea, emaciation, and on finding 
it to be hook-worms to dose the patient (prudently) with thymol. Saul and 
David have slain their thousands and tens of thousands, and David has been 
beatified. What is to be done for Dr. Bozzolo, who has saved millions? 

1 We now understand why so many Negro tribes in the basin of the Congo have a craving for 
argillaceous clay as food. They are infested with hook-worms. 



As before stated, the Negro is accused of having brought Necator ameri- 

canus (perhaps also Ancylostomum duodenale) to America, thereby infecting 

millions of white Americans with the " Lazy 
disease." The charge is probably true. But, 
for the plagues which followed the whites 
are mainly to blame. They permitted or did 
not deter the Negro, under slavery or post- 
slavery conditions, from being as filthy in 
his sanitation as (according to the American 
doctors) are two millions of Southern whites 
at the present day (and I might add, at 
least ten millions of British landlords and 
peasantry who disdain to supply or to use 
earth closets). But the medical investiga- 
tors of the United States, once they had 
tracked down the fell work of the " Ameri- 
can Murderer," the Necator worm, rose to 
the same heights of heroism as were 
achieved by this noblest of professions in 
the suppression of Yellow Fever in Cuba 
and of Malaria in Italy. They — Drs. C. W. 
Stiles and A. J. Smith — made experiments 
on themselves, suffered from the blood-letting 
and anaemia, cured themselves, and then pro- 
ceeded to restore to life, health, and civic 
validity two millions of sick and useless 
Southern whites. 
And the effects of their epoch-making work will be felt in tropical America 

and the West Indies. Here the well-to-do 

whites live too carefully and cleanly to be 

easily infected by these parasitic worms. 

But the extraordinary anaemia and apathy 

among the " poor " whites of the Bahamas, 

Barbados, St. Kitts, Cuba, Porto Rico, Trini- 
dad, and Central and South America is now 

probably accounted for by their being the 

prey of these blood-letting thread-worms 

derived mainly from their own carelessness, 

but also from the filthy surroundings still 

characterising centres of negro population. 

In Jamaica I noticed especially the insani- 
tary condition of the soil around certain 

large negro schools, reformatories, and 

orphanages, or about the villages distant 


Actually an example of the underlying " Strand- 
looper " stratum of the Bushman race. Perhaps 
the most "simian " type of negro 

[The pictures of African negro types given in this 
and succeeding chapters are selected to show 
the varied component elements which have gone 
to form the American negro, who by fusion will 
gradually become a new race] 



towns. Here there were rotting 

accumulations of human ordure sufficient to 
infect all bare-footed Jamaica with Hook- 
worm disease. 

Why is not practical Biology 
in all elementary and secondary 
attended by all children of all 



Of the " Strandlooper " prognathous type, similar 
to the woman shown above These two speci- 
mens belong to the most prognathous known 
type of African 



and races ? Mens sana in corpore sano. Teach them to be health)- and they 
will be good. 

Amongst maladies caused by the more " vegetable " section of the Protista 
sub-kingdom, which have seemingly originated with the Negro sub-species and 
to which this type of man is peculiarly subject, are Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Craw- 
craw (a vile form of itch), and Ainhum (a disease of the toes leading to their 
amputation, which is very prevalent in West Africa, and has been carried thence 
to the West Indies). Leprosy may have originated with the Asiatic Negro — it 
is not a very obvious disease in untouched, interior Africa — but it has plagued 
Southern and Eastern Asia (and 
perhaps Polynesia) for thousands 
of years, and was carried by the 
Crusaders to all parts of Europe 
in the Middle Ages, while the 
African Negro conveyed it to 
America, where in the West Indies 
especially it is one of his worst 

It is a disease so closely allied to 
Tuberculosis that the bacilli causing 
both are hardly separable. Tuber- 
culosis may have originated in Africa. 
Distinct traces of this disease have 
been found in Nubian negro and 
negroid skeletons buried at a period 
of at least four thousand years ago 
in the Northern Sudan ; and at the 
present day Tuberculosis (with Pneu- 
monia) is one of the chief causes of 
death in the Negroes and coloured 
peoples of America. Nearly five 
coloured people out of every thou- 
sand in the United States die of 
Tuberculosis in one or other of its 
manifestations, a rate about four 
times as high as it is for pure- 
blooded whites, but less high than 
for Amerindians in the same country. 
In the same region the death-rate 
for Pneumonia among the Coloured 
Race is about 3-5 per thousand, and among the Whites i'8 per thousand. 

Yellow Fever, said by the American doctors to be due to a vegetable micro- 
organism, was brought from West Africa to America in slave-ships at the end 
of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries (see note on p. 2 1 1 ). 

It may be that to resist these fell agencies — these parasites which always 
attack a successful and pushing new species of plant or animal — the Negro's 
ancestors had to direct so much of their will-power to strengthening the 
body that they neglected the mind. Moreover, the Other Factor in the 
seeming duality of this world's government gave to the African negro (if not 
to the Asiatic) a vigour of genesic instinct which has been — in his struggle with 
an adverse environment and an appalling death-rate in young and old — a 


The typical Bushmen are not so prognathous as the lingering 
vestiges of the antecedent " Strandlooper" type given in the 
preceding illustrations 



valuable counter-agent, a resource without which his attempts to people Africa 
would have been futile. But this virility, this lust for child-begetting and 
child-bearing, has left its mark on the negro's body and mentality, just as the 
primal dangers of starvation made him a born glutton. He has been so busy 
eating, drinking, marrying and begetting, that he has devoted little attention to 
the arts and industries, the astronomical and metaphysical speculations which 
have engrossed so much of the time and the vital force of the Eurasiatic 
peoples. The average individual of the uneducated, and, most of all, the savage 
negro type, is essentially unmoral. Men and women of this race are probably 
more inherently lustful, more eagerly addicted to sexual pleasures, than are the 
mass of Asiatics, Europeans, white Americans, and black Australians. 

Transported to easier conditions of life, wherein the battle over nature has 
been at least half won, the Negro race finds itself burdened and held back 

by these tendencies and endowments. The 
Negro has no doubt a harder battle to fight 
against sexual lust than the Caucasian or 
the 'Mongolian. Education and refinement 
unquestionably help him in this struggle, 
as does hard work. White railway-labour- 
organisers in the United States and other 
contractors of labour at Panama have told 
me that in order to keep the men of their 
negro gangs from deserting, to retain them 
contented during their long months of work 
away from towns, they were obliged to 
engage in some way or another companies 
of negro prostitutes, who dwelt in camps or 
hastily constructed villages to which the 
men had easy access. In my visit to 
Panama nothing of the kind was apparent 
to me. I saw a great many Negro homes 
which seemed to be quite decently con- 
ducted, and in which the men and women 
had the demeanour of married couples ; nor 
did I in my journeys to and fro about the 
States actually light on any of these camps of negro prostitutes. If they existed 
they were hidden away : and so far as outward decorum is concerned, there is 
no more to shock the observant traveller in the outside moral aspect of the 
negro's life in the United States than there is in that of the white man. In 
Africa one is well aware that if the Negro be incontinent in his own home, or 
in any temporary sojourn in an adopted home, he is fully as capable of chastity 
and abstinence as any particular lot of white men and Asiatics. His legends, 
his folk-lore, his social customs, inculcate a sort of elementary morality by 
teaching the unwisdom of sexual incontinence when men are engaged in great 
undertakings involving all their energies of mind and body — hunting, warfare, 
long journeys, agricultural operations, or religious exercises. Yet, when all is 
said on the Negro's behalf, he is still, racially, at a stage when he devotes too 
much of his attention to the procreative function. 

An amative disposition possibly gives to the Negro that expansiveness of 
character, that emotional unreserve which lead him to laugh or cry with equal 
readiness, to shout and declaim ; and yet make him from the white man's 

Dutch-Boer and Hottentot 


2 3 

point of view more easily managed, more sympathetic and likeable than many 
an Asiatic or Amerindian race. He is vain rather than proud, good-natured to 
a rare degree if his sensibility (always on the surface) is touched. He can be 
cruel ; but his hate is short-lived, his gratitude vivid and sometimes the most 
lasting feeling in his mind. He has a keen sense of humour and is a natural 
wit. Singularly observant, yet too slothful to collate his facts and draw from 
them the deductions which have given the White man and the Yellow supreme 
power over men and nature: neat-fingered, deft, able to learn and to do almost 
anything that can be taught him by the White man, the Negro nevertheless has 
seemed up to the present time unable to originate. But that may come. 

For three hundred years or so — especially during the nineteenth century — 
the White man has accused the whole Negro race of laziness. Of course the 
slave, the domestic servant, the factory child 
can never work too hard for the contentment 
of the slave-driver or the average employer. 
Down to ten or twenty years ago in many a 
household of the upper, middle, and " lower 
middle" class in our own country it was thought 
almost an infraction of some natural law for 
domestic drudges to want rest, relaxation, litera- 
ture, lovers, and exercise in the open air. So 
if the negro got bored with monotonous and 
unending work for somebody else's main ad- 
vantage he was stigmatised as so viciously lazy 
that it was really a moral obligation to flog, 
starve, or fine him into a Sisyphean routine. 

Against the Negro man the charge, however, 
is partly true. He does not love work for the 
stimulus it gives to mental energy, for the joy of 
striving, of conquering obstacles. He has not 
the eager desire of the European and the Asiatic 
to conquer Nature and subdue the Devil of her 
reaction and recalcitrance. He is too easily The Haukwoin are a tribe of pure negroes 

c a f J e fi aA xi'ifV-i Viic ciii-mnn/)!nm in the mountains of N orthern Damaraland. 

satisfied witn nis surroundings. They speak a Hottemot dia i ect! but in 

In all the history Of Africa and Of the physique are of the Forest West African 

people of African race settled in the New 

World, the negress has probably never been idle. She is as unremittingly in- 
dustrious as the average woman of the labouring and lower middle class in the 
United Kingdom. It is the negro man on whom the reproach lies — and justly 
lies — of being racially more lazy than perhaps any other human type. In the 
savage life of Africa if nothing more is aimed at than an existence of successful 
animalism, the male negro probably strikes an even balance with the female in 
the support of the community. On him falls the task of defending the family, 
the village, or the tribe against the attacks of wild beasts or of human enemies ; 
he can be a strenuous hunter, a patient and arduous fisherman, he will also by 
fits and starts do all the rough work of felling timber and constructing the 
framework of houses. He is also" the herdsman, the blacksmith, and the tailor, 
and by his successful forays in war or in the chase provides quite half the food 
supply of the community. 

In return for these great dangers and excessive fatigues he expects to be 
allowed to spend the balance of his time in slothfulness. The women run far 




less danger than the men and are not required to undergo heart-breaking 
agonies of fatigue ; on the other hand, they are expected to work steadily and 
monotonously ; they are the great agriculturists, the cooks, the preparers of 
medicine, the producers of children, and the household servants. 

But Asia and Europe with their greater infusion of divine energy, their 
loftier aspirations, have long left this state of existence behind from the close 
of the palaeolithic period ; and whereas this negro idea of life may have been 
good enough for the condition of Africa two thousand years ago, it is utterly 
out of keeping with the modern world. 

Since I came to know something of the Negro it has occurred to me that 
there is more likelihood of an affinity of mind growing up between his race and 
the world of the Caucasian than between either of these divergent human types 

and the inscrutable Mongolian. (The very 
receptivity of the Japanese and the Poly- 
nesians may be due to the decided element 
of Asiatic negro which we know is infused 
through both these composite racial groups.) 
The negro mind compared to the Mongolian 
has very few unexplored recesses. It is 
largely an open book in which the white 
man, unless he wilfully spurns his oppor- 
tunities, may write pretty well what he 
chooses at the present day. As yet the 
Negro is unhampered by racial or socio- 
logical prejudice, and still possesses an 
inherent admiration for his white cousin 
who has emerged within the last century 
from the long martyrdom of man : the heir 
of all the ages, the exponent of the most 
practical knowledge achieved by the human 
species through ages of experiment in 
Europe, North America, and Western Asia. 
Against this the Negro has no crooked 
science of his own to set up, such as still 
keeps China, Tibet, Hindu-India, Muham- 
madan Asia centuries behind the soaring 
In the past, with rapidity, the Negro has adopted the religions of the Cauca- 
sian : sacred animals and tribal totems, demigods and nature-spirits, the phallism, 
fetishism, and magic of the earlier Mediterranean faiths, conveyed to Negro 
Africa by the Libyan, Hamite, and Hima; 1 then, later, Muhammadanism ; 
Christianity ; freemasonry ; faith-healing. Probably in the future we may 
induct him into a loftier faith and wiser practice, a Christian religion at one with 
science in a church which shall discard empiricism, useless metaphysics, and 
speculations starting from no material basis. 

Where did the Negro sub-species arise ? In what part of the Old World did 


A Muherero from S.W. Africa, near akin to 

the Kafir 

1 The ancient Egyptians and their wild Gala relations carried their enterprise, their domestic animals 
and musical instruments, their religious ideas, folk-lore, and their neolithic and early metal-age civilisation 
almost to the sources of the Nile ; and were received by the hopelessly savage, brutish negroes whom they 
found there as demigods. Their descendants (the Ba-hima) reign to this day as aristocracies or rulers in 
Equatorial Africa. 



: >;'. •.-»; (.',:■ .-..-■--. ■ :', ...;--. ,■ .-j* 

he specialise from the basal type of Homo sapiens, from the Australoid group, the 
outcome of early Homo primigenius ? Possibly in Southern Europe, more prob- 
ably in India. In the researches promoted by the Prince of Monaco, there were 
discovered in the caves of Grimaldi (Baousse-rousse), near Mentone (French 
Riviera) two human skeletons, interred in a shallow grave (" une sorte de petit 
caisson en pierres") at a depth of about 27 feet from the present surface of the 
cavern floor ; which, except in skull capacity, were obviously those of negroes. 
These remains were in all probability of great age, and underlay skeletons and 
other relics of the Cro-Magnon race, which last is regarded as an essentially 
" European " (Caucasian) type of man, and is 
associated in France with the later are of the 
mammoth, cave-lion, cave-bear, hyena, and 
reindeer, and a fauna and flora of a cold 
Glacial or post-Glacial age. 

The negroid skeletons of the Grimaldi 
grottos indicate a race of an average stature 
— men about 5 ft. 6 in., women about 5 ft. 1 in. 
— with poorly developed chins, a narrow pelvis, 
the fore-arm (humerus to elbow) very long in 
proportion to the lower arm, the thigh very 
short in comparison with the leg (simian and 
Australoid characteristics which are present — 
but not so markedly— in modern negroes) ; 
and generally with lower limbs much longer 
proportionately than the arms. This last is a 
feature that is very prominent in the Nilotic 
Negroes and sometimes in Hottentots, but 
not in the majority of modern negroes or in 
Australoids. The heel-bone (calcaneum) was 
even larger proportionately and more salient 
than in the modern negro (an ultra-human 
feature). These French negroes were very 
prognathous, had large teeth, and their palates 
were very hypsiloid. But the skull cases had 
a remarkable brain capacity : 1375 cubic centi- 
metres for an old woman ; 1580 for a male 
youth. The former figure is actually slightly 
higher than the average cranial capacity of 
modern French women, and the latter 21 c.c. 
above the average of modern French men. 

are far higher than the modern Negro average (say 1200 c.c. for women 
and 1388 for men). The age at which these Grimaldi negroes lived cannot 
be much less removed from the present day than thirty thousand years ago; 
it may have even been more remote, for they were contemporaneous in 
France with the Man of Correze (a lingering example of Homo primigenius t 
with a remarkable cranial capacity), with the mammoth, lion, African elephant, 
and hippopotamus. This negroid -type would seem (judging from skulls and 
skeletal remains) to have penetrated north-westwards as far as Brittany, and 
quite possibly to Britain and Ireland. Eastwards it is traceable to Switzerland 
and Italy, coming down through the neolithic to the historical period and 
fusing with the northern races. In modern times and at the present day it is 



Both alike, as already stated, 



obvious that there is an old Nigritic element in the population of North Africa, 
Spain, France, Ireland and West Britain, Italy, Sardinia, Sicily, and the countries 
bordering the Eastern Mediterranean, not entirely to be accounted for by the 
historical slave trade. 

Yet the ancient negroid elements in these European populations seem to 
possess slightly more affinity with the Asiatic negroes or with those of North- 
Eastern Africa than with the typical African negroes or Bushmen of to-day. 

In spite of these very interesting discoveries in the Grimaldi caverns, the 
deductions to be drawn from the rest of our limited knowledge point rather to 
India 1 as the original birthplace of the Negro sub-species ; just as India or 
Central Asia may have been the evolutionary centre of the entire Human genus 
and of the sapiens species ; and have witnessed the branching-off of the 
straight-haired, hairless-bodied, yellow-skinned Mongolian (who emigrated 
northwards through Central to Eastern and Hyperborean Asia, and to America ; 
and southwards to Malaysia and the Pacific ; and perhaps again to America, 

via the Pacific archipelagos). The only 
difficulty in adopting the theory that 
the Negro originated in India is the 
presumed absence at the present day of 
any pure negro type in Continental 
India ; though there can be little 
doubt that the " pre-Dravidian " tribes 
of the Nilgiri Hills (the Kota, Kurumba, 
lrula, and Badaga) and of the forests 
south-west of Madras and of Maisur, 
Cochin, and Travancore (theKader, Pani- 
yan, Pulaya, Puliyar, and Kaniyan) have 
a preponderating element of negro blood. 
Many of these people are dark-coloured, 
with kinky or curly hair, are prognathous 
and flat-nosed, with thick, everted lips. 
The Andamanese are negroes. 

There is no indication as yet that 
any primitive negro type entered Cey- 
lon. The Veddahs still lingering in that 
island are not negroid but either Proto- 
But the negroid element permeates the 
low-caste or outcast "pariah" tribes of Western and Eastern India, and pene- 
trates through the coast tribes of Southern Persia to Eastern Arabia. 

Assuming, then, that the Negro sub-species was originated in the Indian 
Peninsula, we can in imagination see this type of dark-skinned, spiral-haired, 
flat-nosed man turning eastwards as well as westwards, invading Burma and 
the Malay Peninsula and Archipelago on the heels of the retreating Australoids, 
and securing as their exclusive home the Andaman Islands (they were probably 
exterminated in the Nicobars by the Mongolians that followed them). To 
this day dwarf negro people survive in the Far East — the Samang in the 
forests of the Malay Peninsula and the Aeta in the Philippine Islands. There 

1 Unless we revive Dr. Sclater's theory of a vanished continent in the Indian Ocean, a " Lemuria " 
which united Eastern Africa with the Malay Archipelago. It is, however, doubtful whether such a 
continent existed in any period of the Tertiary epoch ; and highly improbable that it was still above 
water at the beginning of the human period. 


Of perhaps thirty thousand years ago, found in the 
Grimaldi Caves near Monaco 

Caucasians or modified Australoids. 



Negroid tribe of Southern India 

are traces of the passage of a negroid people through Sumatra and Borneo, in 

the island of Timor, and markedly so in New Guinea, though here they have 

mingled with the Australoid and have produced the well-marked Papuan race. 

The existing populations of the Solomon Islands, of New Ireland, and of the 

New Hebrides are much more negro-like in physical characteristics ; in fact, 

perhaps the people of New Ireland are the 

most nearly akin to the African negro of 

all the Asiatic or Australasian peoples. 

Asiatic negroes also seem to have entered 

Australia from New Guinea and to have 

passed down the eastern part of that conti- 
nent till they reached the then peninsula of 

Tasmania, not, of course, without mingling 

with the Australoids. There is a negroid 

(Melanesian) element in Fiji, and as far west 

as the Hawaii Archipelago and among the 

Maoris of New Zealand ; in a much less de- 
gree also, in Burma, Annam, Hainan, Formosa, 

the Riu-Kiu Islands, and Southern Japan. 
The Elamites of Mesopotamia appear to 

have been a negroid people with kinky hair, 

and to have transmitted this racial type to 

the Jews and Syrians. 1 There is a curliness 

of the hair, together with a negro eye and 

full lips, in the portraiture of Assyria which 

conveys the idea of an evident negro element in Babylonia. Quite probably 

the very ancient negro invasion of Mediterranean Europe (of which the 

skeletons of the Alpes Maritimes are vestiges) came from Syria and Asia 

Minor on its way to Central and Western 


It is possible that in or on the verge 
of Arabia the ancient basal stock of the 
generalised negro parted, divided into two 
great streams of divergent emigration : one 
to proceed to Europe via Syria, and the 
other to pass through Arabia- to Egypt' 
and tropical Africa. In Arabia or in Egypt 
(it may be) arose the difference between the 
long-headed African negro and the rounder, 
shorter-headed Bushman, the last-named be- 
coming more habituated than his congeners 
to a life in arid deserts or scrubby, open 

The African Negro was again differenti- 
ated (probably in East Africa) into three main 

varieties: (1) the prognathous " Strandlooper" type, of whom vestiges living and 

1 The Jews are composed of three or four separate racial elements. The Asiatic negroid strain shows 
itself occasionally in the curly hair, the long eye, and proportions of the skull. The Jewish hybrids with 
the Negro in Jamaica and Guiana reproduce most strikingly the Assyrian type {supra). 

2 It is quite conceivable that the great peninsula of Arabia was once populated, as far as its natural 
conditions allowed, by a primitive negro stock, which may have been later on partially exterminated by 
changing and unfavourable conditions of climate and by the after-coming of the white man in his types 

Negroid bush-tribe of Southern India 




Negrito tribe of Southern India 

fossil are found in South Africa and the Sudan; (2) the Forest Negro and Congo 

Pygmy, of the Congo basin, Cameroons, West Africa, Uganda, and portions of 

the Bahr-al-Ghazal, with powerful torso, long 
arms, disproportionately short legs, very long 
head, considerable prognathism, prominent eyes 
and a long upper lip; and (3) the Nilotic Negro. 
This last (which is not without Australoid and 
European-Negro affinities) seems to proceed 
from an early intermingling between the Proto- 
Caucasian and the Forest Negro, but is a 
sufficiently ancient hybrid to have developed 
characteristics of its own, due, no doubt, to 
its original habitat having been the vast, flat, 
marshy regions of the Upper Nile Valley and 
the basin of Lake Chad. The Nilotic Negro 
has disproportionately long legs and is one of 
the tallest races of man. The facial features 
vary from the good looks of the straight-nosed 
Hamite to the prominent cheek-boned, everted- 
lipped negro of the Central Sudan, in whom 
there is a " Strandlooper " element. 

The Forest Negro may be seen in his more 
pronounced type of powerful chest, huge arms 
and short legs, and very prognathous face 1 in 

the denser forests of the Congo Basin and in the Niger Delta, and in a modified 

form along the west coast of Africa from the Gambia to 

the mouth of the Congo ; but the physical type occurs 

sporadically in -many parts of East, Central, South, and 

S.W. Africa. The mingling of Nilotic and Forest Negroes 

in past times has produced many tribes of black men with 

splendid, comely, and harmonious physical development ; 

their limbs having much the same proportions as those 

of well-made Europeans, while the face also has acquired 

a certain refinement of feature. This is the physical type 

so much (but not exclusively) associated with the speak- 
ing of Bantu languages : the Upper Congo tribes, the 

people of Tanganyika and North Nyasa, the Swahili, 

Yao, A-Kamba, Baila, Batonga, Bakaranga, and Zulu. 
It is of course possible that the Negro may not have 

of Hamite, Semite, and Iberian. The Hamites, or ancestors of the Egypt- 
ians, Galas, Somalis, etc., may even have been the result of intermixture 
in Arabia between the Mediterranean type of white man (Libyan, Iberian, 
Persian, etc.) and the bushman and negro savages of ancient Arabia. 

Unless the Negro (and many other mammalian types of modern Africa) 
entered that continent from Europe (via Spain and Morocco; Sicily-Malta- 
Tunis ; Syria-Sinai-Egypt) it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 
Arabia must have been once an important half-way house to Africa from 
both Western Asia and India. Tne systematic exploration of this vast 
peninsula (which in existing fauna is slightly more African than Indian or 
" Pataearctic ") would, no doubt, solve many enigmas in the geographical 
distribution and origin of mammals and of mankind ; but it is, alas ! 
rendered very difficult by the lava-beds and basalt, the shifting sands, heat, 
aridity, and most of all the fanaticism and superstition of the native tribes. 

1 See Illustration No. 2, p. 3. 


Even Congo pygmies have found 
their way as slaves from the 
Western Congo basin to the 
West Indies 



been the first type of human being to enter Africa, from Arabia or across 
the isthmuses of habitable land between Mauretania and the Central Sudan : 
the Dark Continent may have been partially colonised by offshoots of 
Homo primigenius, or by the generalised " Australoid " form of H. sapiens, 
or even have received from Asia intermediate Anthropoids akin to Pithe- 
canthropes. Traces of Australoid affinities in skull formation are not un- 
common in the Equatorial belt of Africa from east to west, and there are 
remarkable resemblances 
in customs, weapons, and 
implements between the 
most primitive tribes of 
the Equatorial belt of 
Africa and the Austra- 
loids of Australia. Then 
again, the Negro was 
soon followed up in his 
appropriation of Africa 
by the Caucasian of an 
alreadv nes^rified Medi- 
terranean type : Libyans 
wandered across the Sa- 
hara, dispossessed the 
red-skinned pygmies of 
Western Nigeria, ab- 
sorbed some of the Forest 
Negroes, and formed such 
hybrid stocks as the 
Songhai, Mandingo, Fula, 
and Nyamnyam ; Ham- 
ites (Egyptian 1 and Gala) 
occupied Egypt from 
Arabia and pushed west- 
wards across the Libyan 
Desert, mingling freely 
with long-legged or short- 
legged and prognathous 
negroes, and thus called 
into existence mixed 
races like the Tibbu, Nu- 
bian, Ethiopian, Masai, 
Andorobo, Hima, Gala, 
Somali, and Danakil. 

There has been much infiltration of Caucasian blood from Europe and 
Western Asia in more recent, historic times. Pre- Islamic Arabs undoubtedly- 
notwithstanding the disputes as to the builders of Zimbabwe— were connected 
with and settled in South-East Africa perhaps more than two thousand years 

A man of the Hadendowa tribe, near Suakin. These Ethiopians of the north- 
eastern Sudan are closely allied in blood and language to the Gala and 
Somali, and in a lesser degree (but not in language) to the Kula of Western 

1 There are indications that the ancestors of the ancient Egyptians— themselves probably of HarrutlC 
race coming from S.W. Arabia— found the Lower Valley of the Nile (then to a great extent cut ofl 
Mauretania by gulfs, lakes, and deserts) in the occupation of a primitive negro or "Strandlooper race. 
"Strandlooper" (shore-runner) was a nickname given by the Boers to the prognathous savages of the 
South African kitchen-middens. 


ago. They must have taken to themselves concubines from the South African 
Negroes, and these last — possibly not yet " Bantu " in speech — may have 
already created the Hottentot hybrid with the Bushman in South-West Africa. 
Then from iooo A.D. onwards came many Arabs, Persians, Baluchi's, and Hindus 
to the East African coast. From out of the mingling of all these elements 
in different degrees arose the African peoples of to-day, very few of which are 
without some tinge of Caucasian blood due to the White man's persistent 
invasion of Africa from — let us say — 12,000 B.C. to the present day. 



THE relative remoteness in time of the first human peopling of the two 
American continents is still an undetermined question. The present 
belief is that man had already permeated Asia and Europe and possibly 
parts of Africa before he invaded the North American continent from' North- 
Eastern Asia; or if he reached North America in one of the inter-glacial periods 
(and thence spread to South America), he was killed off in the northern con- 
tinent by the final triumph of the 
ice, while in South America he may 
have dwindled away to nothing before 
the supreme difficulties of endless 
swamps, pathless forests, and still 
vigorous wild beasts. 

The human types which are indi- 
genous to the Americas of to-day are 
divisible into two racial groups — the 
Eskimo and the Amerindian. 1 The 
Eskimo is a long-headed Mongolian, 
and in that respect is the most 
primitive form living of the yellow- 
skinned, straight-haired, hairless- 
bodied, narrow-nosed sub-species of 
Homo sapiens; 2 but in other direc- 
tions this hyperborean race (origi- 
nally from Northern Asia) is much 
specialised. The Amerindian would 


seem to be a mixture 



degrees of a Proto-Caucasian type [like the Ainu of Japan], the Eskimo, 
and a Proto-Mongolian. 3 In some of his North American developments he 
stands very near to the Caucasian, from whom he differs mainly and only 

1 Additional information as to Amerindian aborigines is given in chapters IV., v . VI. , XI., and xiv. 

: The average cranial capacity of the male Eskimo is very high — 1546 c.c. (W. I.. II. Duckworth). 

3 It is always possible that from one to four thousand years ago the west coast of South America may 
have been reached by Polynesians coming by way of the Pacific Archipelagos. There may well have 
been islands or islets that have since been washed away or have sunk below the surface of the sea, which 
served to break the journey between Hawaii or Easter Island and the coasts of Mexico or of Chili. But 
if so, the physical type of American man would not have been greatly modified, since the Polym 
are a hybrid race composed likewise of Mongol and Proto-Caucasian, with an added element ol Australoid 
or Melanesian (Asiatic Negro). Subtract the negroid or Australoid strain from the Polynesian, and you 
have an Amerindian. Many of the Mongoloid peoples of Borneo and Sumatra or Malaysia have a strong 
physical resemblance to the Amerindian. This generalised type (between Caucasian and Eskimo) may 
once have inhabited the whole Pacific coast of Asia, and have reached America by way of Japan, the 
Kuriles, Kamschatka, and the Aleutian bridge. 


3 2 


by the still marked prominence of the cheek-bones, the narrow eyes (some- 
times with the epicanthic fold), the straight, coarse, round-sectioned head-hair, 
and the almost complete absence of hair on the body. In South and Central 
America the indigenes have a more Polynesian appearance, some of them 
resembling closely the Dayaks of Borneo (in culture as well as in physique). 

Here and there in Brazil and Peru there are 
suggestions of the survival of a long-headed and 
primitive human stock resembling slightly the 
Australoid. (The meaning of these indications, 
both existing and fossil, may well be exaggerated, 
and are due perhaps to local degeneration or 
deviation.) Perhaps on the whole the ancient 
dwarfish coast tribes of Peru and the modern 
Aymara group of the Peruvian highlands — with 
their pentagonal faces, short, flat noses, progna- 
thous jaws, and short thighs — are the lowest in 
physical development known to exist in America. 
Why the Americas — which in food supply for 
man were perhaps more richly endowed by Nature 
than the Old World (in the elements of vegetable 
food, at any rate) 2 — were not as densely popu- 
lated as Europe, Asia, and Africa, it is difficult to 
say. In Australia before the Island Continent 
was reached by Malays, and long after them 
by Europeans, the native races (Australoid and 
Negrito) had only attained a very low level of 
human culture, comparable to that of the lowliest 
stage of Homo sapiens. But in Australia man 
had to grapple with the increasing aridity of 
the centre and west, possibly was cut off from 
inhabiting part of the central regions by their 
being under water ; and in the south-west, south, 
and east of this region had a poor food supply 
as compared with the rest of the world. 

In North America the causes which kept man 
back from a rapid rate of increase were, firstly, 
the inclement climate which prevailed over two- 
thirds of the northern continent at the close of 
the Pleistocene ; secondly, the destruction by 
insect agencies 2 and disappearance of many 
species of wild beasts which might otherwise 
have supplied the primitive Amerindians with 
ample food ; thirdly, the density of the forests 
in other regions wherein at first man was unable 

3 Indeed it is difficult to see how in tropical America any able-bodied man or woman could starve 
even if they merely lived like the beasts of the field on the produce of the seashore, the shallow river, the 
forest, savannah, swamp, plateau, and pampas. There were land crabs and sea crabs, crayfish, prawns, 
fat beetle grubs, sea fish, river fish, manatis, iguana lizards (most succulent), toothsome game-birds, 
rodents innumerable, deer, tapirs, edible palms, nuts, pineapples, maize, papaws, and fruits, roots, tubers, 
and grains too numerous to catalogue, besides enormous quantities of wild honey. It was this native 
provender which enabled runaway negroes to live so easily in the backwoods. 

2 Two species of Glossina or " tsetse " fly have been discovered fossil in North America [Colorado]. Glos- 
sina may have reached America from West Africa, possibly before the complete disappearance of those 



The Arawaks and the Caribs, as far as 
we know, were the only types of 
Amerindian inhabiting the West India 
Islands from Cuba and the Bahamas 
to Grenada and Tobago at the time of 
Columbus's discovery. Both peoples 
came from the Guianas 



to procure sufficient sustenance and was attacked by jaguars, alligators, snakes, 
insects (ants, above all), and found his progress barred by appalling barriers 
of vegetation. 1 Then there 
was the utter inability to 
conceive a humanity common 
to all tribes and nations. 
Empires, late in the day, 
were, it is true, founded in 
Peru and Mexico, which 
united under a semi-civilised 
government several millions 
of human beings — perhaps Igd 
ten millions in South America 
and four millions in Central 
America. But the popula- 
tion here was checked by in- 
fanticide, by endless human 
sacrifices and probably a 
heavy death-rate amongst 
children. This last would 
quite sufficiently account for 
the slow increase of the 
Northern Amerindians and 
of those living in a low, 
savage state in all South 
America to the east of the 
Andes. The inter-tribal wars, 
which, according to legends 
and traditions, raged all over 
the Americas between the 
ice sheet on the north and 
the Straits of Magellan on 
the south, and the frantic 
cannibalism practised by 
peoples of eastern tropical 
America, would, as in Africa, 
explain the constant de- 
population or slow increase. 
Again, in many of the 
Amerindian tribes there was 
and is a certain lack of 35. carib Amerindians, northern i;uiana 

islets and archipelagos which almost connected the tropical regions of Africa and America as late as the 
Miocene period and after any actual isthmus had broken down. The G/ossina in America may have, as 
in Africa, developed into the medium or the principal medium for transferring flagellate microbes into the 
blood of the wild horses, musk oxen, long-horned bisons, mammoths, and the relations of the pronghorn 
and of the South American camels, which still inhabited Northern and Central America after the advent 
of man. 

1 When considering the habitability of Africa and South America in earlier times— namely, the extent 
of the area which could be easily occupied by man— it must be borne in mind that probably fifteen 
to twenty thousand years ago, and farther back still in the Earth's history, the upper basin of the Niger, 
the region east and west of the Chad and the Shari basin, the Bahr-al-Ghazal, and above all the Congo 
basin ; and in America the enormous area below a thousand feet in altitude, which is covered by 
the Amazon and its tributaries, besides the Orinoco basin, and the flats of modern Argentina and 



virility ; many of the Amerindian races lack that uxoriousness so characteristic 
of the Negro, that tremendous race fertility which over and over again repairs 
the ravages of disease and of human wickedness. 1 


Paraguay, were uninhabitable swamps interspersed with large lakes. All these modern plains through 
which huge rivers wind were then in a state of transition between the original condition of vast shallow, 
inland seas of fresh or brackish water and their present state of low-lying, flat, forested country or grassy 

1 Among the Amerindians of Western and Central North America, of the Antilles, of Northern and 
Eastern South America, a certain degree of race-suicide was and is going on through a persistent 
and perhaps ancient failure of virility among a proportion of the men, which leads to sexual depravity 
(homo-sexuality) among the males of the community. This tendency is strongly marked in the traditions, 



\ I*** s - ; * 

When the Spaniards and Portuguese took possession of the West Indies, 
Central and South America, they found these new regions either sparsely 
populated or inhabited by peoples disinclined to hard and persistent work and 
of not very strong physical constitutions, so that they were fatally subject to 
epidemics of disease introduced or spread by the Europeans, 1 or easily killed 
by hard work or hard blows. 

But another reason which prevented the Spaniards from making full use 
of the Amerindians as serfs lay in the intervention 
of the Roman Church and of such ecclesiastics 
or rulers in Spain as had any Christian humanity 
in their mental composition. It was ordained 
from time to time that Indians who accepted 
Christianity and joined the Church of Rome 
should be treated on an equal footing in America 
as Spanish subjects free in the eyes of the law. 
There is no doubt that some of the natives of 
Cuba and Porto Rico, 2 a few in Santo Domingo, 
and multitudes in Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil 
saved themselves from extermination by becoming 
Christians, 3 and also through the inclination evinced 
by both Europeans and Amerindians for a sexual 
union which has resulted in the many hybrid 
American peoples of to-day : half Spanish or 
Portuguese, half Amerindian in blood. 

So that very early in the history of Euro- 
peanised America, the Spaniards first and the 
Portuguese later had to supplement their labour 
force in tropical America by immigrants who 
could work in torrid heat and yet need not be 
regarded as Christians. The problem was no 
sooner defined at the commencement of the sixteenth century than it was 
answered by the importation of Africans. 

legends, and customs of certain tribes, and was so patent in Hispaniola and Mexico at the time of their 
discovery as to have at once attracted the attention of the Spanish explorers and historians. The 
vice exists still (according to official and scientific American publications) among the Amerindian tribes 
between Alaska and Northern Mexico, California, and the Mississippi. Its prevalence, past and present, 
among the Amerindians of Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil is attested by many historians, missionaries, 
and explorers. 

1 Between 1550 and 1S50 at least three million Amerindians must have died of small-pox in the West 
Indies, Central and South America. 

- This island is of course known as Puerto Rico by the Spaniards. An excellent description of the 
aborigines, the Borinquens, is given in the Twenty-fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology, Washington, 1907. 

3 Especially under the decree entitled " Encomienda," published in 15 12. Under this protection the 
indigenes of Porto Rico were henceforth classed as Spaniards, and now form the principal element in the 
peasantry of that island (the "Gibaros"). 




AFTER the Spaniards had conquered finally the whole of the Canary 

/A Archipelago — an achievement which only preceded the discovery of 

America by a few years — they despatched to Hispaniola, Cuba, and 

Porto Rico Guanche slaves, the indigenes of the Canary Islands, 1 besides also 

recalcitrant Moorish Jews from Majorca, Jews and Morescos from Southern 


The Turks and Arabs in the Crusades, and the Moors of Spain and North 
Africa had introduced to the mind of mediaeval Europe the idea of negro 
slaves, of "black Moors" 2 who were strong, willing, and faithful servants to 
their white employers. Although Moor enslaved Christian and Christian 
attempted to enslave Moor from the eighth to the eighteenth century, neither 
found it a paying game. The two races were too near akin mentally and 
physically, too nearly equal in endowments to reign over each other. 

When the Portuguese discoverers, urged on by Prince Henry of Portugal, 
had rounded Cape Bojador, and after reaching the Rio d'Ouro 3 in 1435, had, 
in 1441, captured some Moors on that desert coast and brought them back 
to Portugal to become slaves ; the latter soon attracted the attention of 
Portuguese notabilities by their noble bearing. They explained that it was 
impossible for persons of their race and religion to pass into servitude ; they 
would either die of a broken heart or commit suicide. On the other hand, 
there was a race cursed by God — the race of Ham and Canaan — the black- 
skinned people who were predestined slaves and who dwelt in enormous 
numbers to the south of the great desert. If their Portuguese captors would 
release them (the Moors of the Sahara coast) they would show the Christians 
the way to a river of crocodiles and sea-horses, to the south of which dwelt 
the black people who might justifiably and conveniently be imported as slaves 
into Portugal. 

The offer was accepted, and at the close of the fifteenth century a brisk 

1 The Guanche in appearance must have been very like the white Moors of North Africa at the present 
day and not very dissimilar to the southern Spaniards. The names of some of these rather notable 
Guanche emigrants linger actually as the names of villages or plantations in Cuba, Haiti, and Santo 
Domingo at the present day. Thus Tinguarra, the name of an American sugar plantation managed by 
Englishmen in Cuba, is the name of a Guanche chieftain sent as a slave or prisoner of war to Cuba. The 
Canary Islanders in Spanish America are referred to as the " Isleiios." 

3 This is the reason why blackamoor in English, moriaan in Dutch, morian in German, moro in 
Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, and moricaud in French were early names for negroes. "Negro," a 
Spanish word, did not come into common use in England till the nineteenth, century. 

3 " River of Gold,'' an inlet on the western Sahara coast, now part of a Spanish protectorate (Rio de 
Oro). It was here that the Carthaginians had a great trading depot on the island of Kerne, where they 
exchanged the trade goods of the Mediterranean for the gold, ivory, and probably the negro slaves of 
West Africa. 




trade in negro slaves was being carried on by the Portuguese between the 
Guinea Coast and Mediterranean Europe; Lagos, in Southern Portugal, 
becoming a great slave mart. 1 


This man resembles the type of New World colonists sent by Spain to people Porto Rico, 
Cuba, Santo Domingo, and the Spanish Main. They are constantly alluded to in the history 
of the Greater Antilles and Central America as the IsleHos or " Islands' people " 

1 According to Bryan Edwards, the Portuguese obtained (about 1475?) a Hull from the Pope sanction- 
ing the African slave trade. Earlier Popes had forbidden the traffic. A slave market was set up at 
Lisbon, at which from 10,000 to 12,000 negroes were sold annually in the sixteenth century. {Historical 
Survey 0/ Saint Domingo, p. 220. ) 



The decision of Pope Alexander VI in 1493, followed by the Treaty 
of Tordesillas in 1494, 1 assigned to Portugal the west coast of Africa south 
of the Canary Islands, and to Spain the New World (of which, however, 
Portugal was soon afterwards able to claim Brazil as her share). It was 
therefore to the Portuguese possessions in Africa that Spain looked — since 
the Canary Islanders were not sufficient, or had already become Christians — 
for supplies of negroes to labour in the plantations, forests, and mines of 
the Antilles and of Eastern South America. By 1502 the first contingent of 
Africans had been landed in Hispaniola to work in the mines in lieu of the 
feeble-bodied Arawaks, or the fierce, intractable Caribs. They had been 
recruited from the negroes employed in the south of Portugal and of Andalusia 
as agricultural labourers, and were further supplemented in 15 10 from the 
same source and in succeeding years by others obtained (through the 
Portuguese) direct from Guinea. 2 

The " Apostle of the Indians," Bartolomeo de Las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa, 
in Hispaniola, came to Spain in 15 17 to protest at the court of the young 
King-Emperor Charles V against the harsh treatment which the West Indian 
indigenes were enduring at the hands of the Spaniards, who in twenty years 
had reduced an estimated million 3 of gentle-natured Arawaks to about sixty 
thousand. As an alternative to the forced labour of the survivors he pro- 
posed that the hardier negroes of West Africa should be imported into the 
Antilles, to furnish the unskilled labour in mines and plantations for which 
the native Amerindians had proved too weakly of constitution. (Later on, 
Las Casas himself records having regretted this proposal, when he learnt with 

1 The original decision of the Pope [the Bull of Demarcation beginning "Inter csetera "] drew the 
boundary line between the Spanish and Portuguese spheres at a distance of three hundred miles west of 
the Azores Islands. This limit discontented the Portuguese, and by the treaty of the following year 
at Tordesillas the boundary was shifted to an imaginary north-to-south line at a distance of 370 leagues 
(say mo miles) west of the Cape Verde Archipelago. This provision cut off much of Brazil from the 
Spanish sphere, and enabled the Portuguese to claim this portion of the New World when it was dis- 
covered by their navigators Pincon, Cabral, and Amerigo Vespucci in 1499, i 5°°j an d 1 S° l - 

In 1494, a Papal decision, followed by the Treaty of Tordesillas, had already divided Morocco into a 
Spanish and a Portuguese sphere of influence (as we should say nowadays). The Spanish half was the 
Moorish kingdom of Tlamsan (Tlemcen) or Eastern Morocco ; the Portuguese division was the western 
portion of the country, the Moorish kingdom of Fez or Al-gharb (Algarve) ; and the boundary between 
the two spheres commenced on the north coast at Velez, in the Riff country. As the Portuguese domain 
in Morocco was that which was best supplied with negro slaves (because most accessible to the Senegal 
country and Western Nigeria), Spain was additionally dependent on Portugal for negro workers in Southern 
Spain as in America. Under this arrangement of Tordesillas, Melilla, first occupied in 1490, remained 
Spanish ; Ceuta, on the other hand, was Portuguese, and was not garrisoned by Spain until 1580, or 
finally ceded to Spain until 1688. The long connection of Portugal with Morocco (not terminated terri- 
torially until the loss of Mazagan in 1770) resulted in a brisk trade in slaves for Brazil and the Spanish 
Indies, and was one of the routes by which Bornuese and Songhai slaves — many of whom were superior 
types of negroid — reached America. The Moorish conquest and occupation of Western Nigeria between 
1590 and about 1730 greatly stimulated the slave trade with America through Safh, Tangier, and 
Mazagan. But after 1590, the Moroccan oversea slave trade gradually passed into English hands. 

2 It is said by the American writer George Parker Winthrop that 300 negro porters and soldiers 
accompanied Cortes on his Mexican expeditions ; negroes carried the loads of Balboa on his discovery of 
the Pacific Ocean in 1 5 13, and went with Hernandez to Peru in 1530. Negroes assisted as servants and 
labourers in the founding of the Spanish city of St. Augustine in Florida in 1565, and were sailors on the 
Spanish ships which explored the coast of Virginia in 1528. A Spanish-negro explorer, Estevan, 
discovered New Mexico, the land of the Zuni Indians, in 1539. 

3 A total which was probably an exaggeration. Modern opinion is occasionally inclined to the idea 
that Las Casas somewhat overstated his case. But the records of Porto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica, 
the Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru make it clear that (in the West Indies, at any rate) the 
behaviour of the local Spanish authorities and settlers towards the Amerindian was extraordinarily bad ; 
and this in defiance of the orders of the Spanish sovereign and his ministers and of the protests of the 
Church. The emissaries of the Roman Church, especially the Jesuits, got in time the upper hand and 
literally saved millions of Amerindians from destruction in Spanish and Portuguese America. 



what cruelty and deception the Portuguese obtained their supplies of slaves 
from the West African coast). A year earlier, however (1516), in spite of 
the dogged opposition of Cardinal Ximenes, the first of anti-slavery prelates, 
Charles V had anticipated the idea, and had given licences to Flemish 
favourites to recruit negroes in West Africa for despatch to the West Indies. 
One of these patents issued by Charles gave the exclusive right to a 
Fleming named Lebrassa or Lebrasa to supply four thousand negroes 
annually to Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Porto Rico. Lebrassa sold 
his patent to a group of Genoese merchants, who then struck a bargain 
with the Portuguese to supply 
the slaves. 

These licences or patents 
were rendered necessary 
owing to the rigid monopoly 
of trade and traffic in Spanish 
America, which lasted till the 
end of the eighteenth century 
and confined all commerce to 
Spanish subjects and Spanish 
ships. But also in theory the 
slave trade was always an 
unchristian and illegal pro- 
cedure in Spanish policy, and 
to engage in it required the 
special Assent (''Asiento") 
of the Spanish sovereign. In 
course of time this Asiento 
became a contract for supply- 
ing the Spanish Indies with 
negroes — an increasingly 
profitable enterprise which 
figures often in European and 
American history during the 
seventeenth and eighteenth 

During the closing years 
of his reign Charles turned 
against the principle of 
slavery for Indian or Negro. He promulgated the Code of 1542 for the better 
protection of the Amerindians of Spanish America and directed that all African 
slaves should be set free. Pedro de la Casca was sent out to carry this emanci- 
pation into effect : but one year after the retirement of Charles to the monas- 
tery of Yuste (1558) slavery and the slave trade were resumed. 

Sometimes the contractors of the Asiento passed on a portion of their 
privilege to sub-contractors. Thus in 1562 a British sea-captain — John 
Hawkins, later Sir John 1 — took up a contract for the supply of slaves from 
Guinea to the Canary Islands, or direct to the Antilles. In 1562, '64, '67 he 
made three ventures on the west coast of Africa (Gambia, Sierra Leone, 
Western Liberia, and Gold Coast), in the course of which he purchased or 

1 Queen Elizabeth (like Queen Anne a hundred and forty years later) took shares in the British slave- 
trade, and lent Hawkins in 1564 one of her ships, named — ironically enough ! — the fesus. 



kidnapped about eight hundred negroes for transport to the Spanish West 
Indies. Except for the interruptions of the Elizabethan wars with Spain, 
British and Portuguese shippers contrived as sub-contractors to convey several 
thousand negroes to Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica, and Porto Rico during the 
sixteenth century. 

The Asiento passed to a Fleming in 1595, and was undertaken by the 
Portuguese governor of Angola in 1600; about 1640 it was conferred on 
the Dutch, and in 1701 on the French. In 171 3 under the Treaty of Utrecht 
this much-desired contract was granted to the English (the South Sea Com- 
pany), who held it till 1739, when it provoked the war of "Jenkins's ear." 
In 1748 the Asiento was abolished, after the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

Contracts given to Portuguese, French, or British shippers to supply the 
Spanish Indies with slaves having proved unsatisfactory because of the excuse 
they gave for smuggling other goods into the closed markets of Spanish 
America, Spain resolved to acquire a recruiting-ground of her own in West 
Africa; and therefore in 1777 exchanged with Portugal a small piece of 
Spanish coast and an island in the south of Brazil for the (nominally) Portu- 
guese island of Fernando P6 in the Gulf of Guinea, together with the islet of 
Anno Bom, and also the right to found a Spanish station on Corisco Island 
north of the Gaboon River (this last grew in time into the now large-sized terri- 
tory of " Spanish Guinea " or the Muni River, about 9800 square miles). But 
the intentions of Spain were frustrated. The Bube tribes of Fernando P6 were 
doggedly opposed to serving as slaves, and besides resented so strongly the 
landing of white men on their beloved island that they harassed the Spanish 
garrison continually. Their attacks combined with the unhealthy climate led to 
the evacuation of the island at the close of the eighteenth century. 

In 1827 the British naval authorities occupied the north coast of Fernando 
P6 as a base of operations for the suppression of the slave-trade ; and although 
the British Government was obliged to recognise Spanish claims and eventually 
to witness in 1846 the resumption of direct Spanish control (the Spanish 
Dominican and the British Baptist — largely Jamaican — missionaries now inter- 
vening to protect the Bube natives), yet British intervention effectually pre- 
vented Fernando P6 becoming either a recruiting-ground or a receiving depot 
for negro slaves, destined in the nineteenth century for the Spanish Antilles. 

A good deal of slave-trading, however, went on at Corisco Island until the 
French occupied the adjoining Gaboon estuary and founded Libreville. 

The slave-trade was declared illegal by the Spanish Government in 1820 
after the receipt of a subsidy of ^400,000 from Great Britain, but the prohibition 
so far as the Spanish authorities were concerned was a farce, and the trade in 
slaves from West Africa to Cuba and Porto Rico was only checked by the 
vigilance of British and French cruisers. 

Debarred from using these Spanish settlements on or off the Cameroons 
coast, the slave-traders of nineteenth-century Cuba directed their attention to 
the Rio Pongo, a no-man's land north-west of Sierra Leone. Hither came the 
Fula traders from the mountainous interior bringing great "coffles" 1 of slaves 
from the Mandingo and Upper Niger countries. It was from the Rio Pongo that 
so many Mandingoes (and even an occasional Fula) reached Cuba and Brazil. 
The adjoining rivers and islands of Portuguese Guinea fed a similar slave- 
trade. Englishmen from Liverpool and English half-castes like John Ormond 2 

1 The Arabic kafilah. - See for details the author's work on Liberia, Vol. I. 


4 1 

took an important part in this traffic with Cuba and Brazil, but at length these 
Rio Pongo and Bolama slave-depots were broken up by the joint action of 
British and French gunboats. 

The Cuban ships then found their way to the eastern side of the Sierra 
Leone colony, to the Gallinas or Gallinhas lagoon, and the River Sulima. 
Here there had settled in 1821 "Don" Pedro Blanco, a native of Malaga, 
originally the mate of a sailing-vessel. Gradually he had built up a large 
slave-trading business along the unclaimed Grain Coast (now Liberia) from the 
Sulima to the vicinity of the Cestos River, and from 1822 to 1839 ne contrived 
to ship to Cuba, Porto Rico, South Carolina, and Georgia, the Bahamas, and 
Brazil an average five thousand slaves annually, some of whom were intercepted 
by the British or French cruisers. Blanco 
employed Spanish, Portuguese, American, 
or Russian ships for his slave-transports. 
One of his principal lieutenants was 
Theodore Canot, a French seaman. 1 

Blanco was said to have been a man 
of cultivated mind " not naturally cruel " 
(as is always said about the Robespierres 
and Neros of this world). He lived near 
the Gallinas lagoon in an establishment 
(with a large harem) " surrounded by 
every luxury which could be imported 
from Europe." His bills were as promptly 
cashed as a bank-note on the West 
African coast, in Cuba, London, or Paris. 
He employed large numbers of negroes 
as paid servants, watchers, spies, and 
police. From a hundred look-outs on 
the Gallinas beach and the islands of the 
lagoon these men, trained to use tele- 
scopes, watched the horizon for the arrival 
of British cruisers. By their signals they 
repeatedly saved incoming or outgoing 
ships engaged in the slave-trade from 
detection and capture by the British. 

Pedro Blanco and his agents obtained their slaves chiefly from the Gallina, 
Mende, Gora, Busi, Vai, and Kpwesi tribes, from the Gibi, Sikong, and other 
peoples behind the Basa and Kru coasts. 

In 1839 Pedro Blanco retired from the trade with a fortune of nearly 
a million sterling. At first he lived in Cuba, but here he got into some 
political difficulty and lost some of his money. He then moved to Genoa, and 
ended his days quite pleasantly on the Italian Riviera. 

The Spanish slave-trading depots on the coasts of Sierra Leone and Liberia 
had all been destroyed by the British or the Americo-Liberians by about 1847. 
If any slaves reached Cuba or Porto Rico after that date it must have been 
through American or Brazilian slave-ships ; for the protests of the British 
Government in 1853 practically closed the Spanish slave-trade. 

In 1873 tne status of slavery was finally abolished in Porto Rico, but in 



Of the type so often found in Spanish America 

1 See Liberia, chap. X., Vol. I. 


Cuba not till 1886. Already the Moret law of 1870 had given freedom to all 
slaves in Spanish colonies aged sixty years and over, and to all children of 
slaves born after 1870. 

The Spanish treatment of slaves down to the stress of the busy nineteenth 
century seems to have been much better than that accorded by the same nation 
to the indigenous Amerindians. 1 It was regarded as an act of piety, much 
encouraged by the Spanish priests, to emancipate one's slaves as a death-bed 
atonement by declaration or by testament ; or at any time and for any 
reason. Contrary to the local laws in British and Dutch possessions (where 
manumission was either restricted, forbidden, or heavily fined), the Spanish 
laws of 1540, 1563, and 1641 (though the Royal Ordinance of 1789 omits these 
passages) provided that any male or female slave who could tender his or her 
master 250 dollars (about £56) was able to purchase liberty, and with it, in the 
case of a woman and for an extra twelve dollars, that of her unborn child. In 
selling the children of a female slave, the Spanish father thereof was to have 
preference over any other purchaser. The Spanish Government ratified and 
registered the freeing of a slave gratis. Slaves might not absent themselves 
without their master's permission in writing ; if convicted of striking a white 
man they might be punished with death ; and they were forbidden to carry 
arms. But they were fed on much the same food as their masters, and almost 
as well lodged ; 2 and as the cost of their redemption was not too prohibitive, 
masters treated their slaves well lest they might be induced to save, steal, or 
beg the amount of money necessary to their redemption. 

Once free, the Spanish laws took no note of differences of race or colour, 
only of conformity to the Roman Catholic religion. Yet custom excluded the 
freedmen (negro and mulatto) from employment as military officers or to 
civilian posts of importance. 3 Mulattoes were admitted without difficulty in 
the priesthood, but not negroes. 4 

The result of this comparatively kindly treatment was that Spanish slaves 
seldom revolted. There was a rising of negroes in 1522 on the plantation of 
Diego Columbus in Hispaniola, and later on another in 1555; and a few years 
afterwards the escaped negroes (" Symerons," i.e. Cimarrones — vide p. 240) on 
the coast of Mexico and Panama joined the English adventurers against 
the Spaniards. But from the beginning of the seventeenth century, one 
hears of no trouble between the Spaniards and their negro slaves until well 
into the nineteenth century, when there was a black revolt in Cuba in 
1823 and 1844. 

The 1540, 1563, and 1641 laws of the Spanish Indies regarding slavery 
were summed up in 1789 by a Royal Ordinance or Cedula proclaimed at 
Aranjuez on May 31st in that year. 5 In Cuba, Santo Domingo, Porto Rico, 
Louisiana, Florida, New Andalusia, and Venezuela there remained, no doubt, 
the additional or anterior laws, rules, and regulations alongside this Royal 

1 " Les Espagnols euxmemes maltraitaient moins leurs esclaves que ne le firent plus tard les planteurs 
des Antilles ou de l'Amerique du Nord." (P. Chemin-Dupontes, Les Petites Antilles, 190S. ) 

'-' Monsieur de Saint- Mery, in his work on Spanish Santo Domingo, writes of the Spanish slaves : 
" lis sont plutot les compagnons de leur maitre que ses esclaves." 

3 In the earlier edicts or local laws of the seventeenth century, freed men were forbidden in the 
Spanish possessions to serve as notaries or police officials, to have themselves waited on by Indians, to 
carry arms, wear jewellery, silk, or a mantle reaching below the waist. But these laws had become a 
dead letter long before 1789. 

4 The Portuguese, on the other hand, made no difficulty about admitting pure-blood negroes not only 
to the priesthood, but to the episcopate. There have been several black bishops in Brazil. 

= I quote from the English translation of May 31st, 181 1, printed for the House of Commons. 



Ordinance which were not annulled thereby; but if not, then the 1789 
proclamation was less favourable to the slaves than the pre-existing legislation, 
for it makes no definite provision for emancipation either by the master's action 
or the slave's self-redemption. 

One of the oldest churches (in portions) of Spanish America ; largely built by negro labour 

The substance of the 1789 edict is this : — 

(1) Every one who has slaves is obliged to instruct them in the principles of 
the Roman Catholic religion and in the necessary truths in order that the slaves 
may be baptized within the (first) year of their residence in the Spanish domin- 
ions. On every holiday of the Church (excepting at the time of the crop, they 


are not to be allowed to work either for themselves or for their masters, but are 
to receive instruction in Christian doctrine. On these and other days when 
they are obliged to hear Mass, the owner of the estate on which they work is to 
be at the expense of providing a priest to administer to the slaves the Holy 
Sacrament and explain Christian doctrines to them. Every day as soon as 
their work is finished the slaves are to say the Rosary in the presence of 
the master or the steward " with the greatest composure and devotion." 

(2) The justices of the districts in which the estates are situated, with the 
approbation of the magistrates and the syndic or recorder (as protector of the 
slaves) 1 shall fix upon and determine the quantity and quality of the food and 
clothes which are to be supplied to the slaves by their masters daily, according 
to their ages and sexes, and conformable to the custom of the country — like 
those commonly given to (free) day labourers ; " and linen the same as the work- 
people have who are free." Which determination, after having been approved 
by the Court of the district, shall be fixed upon the door of the town-hall, and of 
the churches of every place, and of the oratories or hermitages of the estates, 
that every one may know it and that no one may plead ignorance. 

(3) The first and principal occupation of slaves must be agriculture and not 
those labours which require a sedentary life. . . . The justices of towns and 
villages . . . shall regulate the work to be done in the course of the day, and the 
slaves shall have two hours to themselves to be employed in manufactures or 
other occupations for their own advantage. Neither the masters nor the 
stewards are to oblige slaves to work when they are sixty years old or before 
they are seventeen. Women slaves were not to be employed in business un- 
suited to their sex, or to be employed in work which would bring them into 
promiscuity with the men. The women were to receive two dollars yearly from 
their masters for domestic service. 

(4) On holy days, when masters cannot oblige or permit their slaves to work, 
after they have heard Mass and the Christian doctrine explained to them, the 
said masters or their stewards shall allow the slaves to divert themselves inno- 
cently in their presence, but they shall not allow them to be amongst those of 
the other estates, nor even with the females ; hindering them from excess in 
drinking and taking care that their diversions are ended before prayer-time. 

(5) This chapter provided (very properly) for the lodging of slaves [a sepa- 
rate bed to each slave, not more than two slaves in one bedroom], an infirmary 
for their use when sick, treatment at the hospital, and decent burial when dead. 

(6) Slaves who on account of old age or illness are not able to work, as like- 
wise the children of both sexes, must be maintained by their masters ; and these 
cannot give them their liberty in order to get rid of them, except by giving a 
sufficient stock (of goods or money) which must be approved by the justices and 
syndic (protector of slaves), to maintain them without any other assistance. 

(7) The master of slaves must not allow the unlawful intercourse of the two 
sexes, but must encourage matrimony. Neither must he hinder them from 
marrying with slaves of other masters ; in which case, if the estates were distant 
from one another, so that the new-married couple cannot fulfil the object of 
marriage, the wife shall follow her husband, whose master shall buy her at a fair 
valuation set upon her by skilful men who shall be nominated by the two 
parties ; and in case of disagreement a third shall be appointed by the justice to 

1 Elsewhere the "protector of slaves" is referred to as the "Attorney-General" in the English transla- 
tion of the Spanish word procurator. 


fix a price. If the master of the husband does not agree to the purchase the 
master of the wife shall have the same faculty. 

Chapters (8) and (10) allude to the obligation of masters to "educate" 
their slaves, but this probably means only in suitable industrial work. In (8) 
it is laid down that slaves must obey and respect their masters and the stewards, 
perform the work given them to do (conformably with their strength), and vene- 
rate master and steward " as the heads of the family." Failing to perform their 
obligations, slaves must be punished by the master of the estate or by his 
steward [according to the nature of the offence] with prison, chains, or lashes, 
which last must not exceed the number of twenty-five, and those must be given 
them in such a manner as not to cause any contusion or effusion of blood : 
which punishments cannot be imposed on slaves but by their masters or the 
stewards. In chapter (9) it is provided that in all grave crimes the slave is to be 
tried before an ordinary court of justice just as a free person would be ; except 
that any fine levied on the slave is to be paid by the master, and that 
(apparently) the master of the slave is to carry out any sentence of corporal 
punishment, mutilation, or death, which may be awarded by the court on the 
guilty slave. 

(10) The masters or the stewards who do not fulfil all that is ordered in the 
chapters of this Ordinance in regard to the education, food, clothes, diversions, 
habitations, etc., of the slaves, or who forsake the slave children or the old and 
sickly slaves, are to be fined 50 dollars for the first offence, 100 for the second, 
and 200 for the third, and these fines are to be paid by the master, even in the 
case where the fault has really been committed by the steward, supposing the 
latter not to be able to pay the fine. Of this fine, one third will belong to the 
informer who has drawn attention to the offence, another third to the judge, and 
the last third is to be put into the " Fines Chest." If these fines do not have the 
required effect and the Ordinance continues to be broken or not observed, a 
somewhat vague threat is uttered, that " I (the King) will take my measures 
accordingly." When masters or stewards are guilty of excess in punishing 
slaves, causing them contusion, effusion of blood, or mutilation of members, 
besides paying the above-mentioned fines, they are to be prosecuted as criminals 
and receive punishments suitable to the crime they have committed, while the 
injured slave is to be confiscated and sold to another master (if he is able to 
work), the selling price behig put into the Fines Chest. If he is too injured to 
work he is to be practically free, whilst his former master is obliged to make 
him a daily allowance v to be fixed by the justice) for his maintenance and 
clothes during the remainder of his life, paying this allowance every three 
months in advance. 

(11) All persons not being the master or steward who chastise slaves, injure, 
wound, or kill them, shall incur the same punishment as would be enacted by 
the laws against those who committed similar excesses towards free people. 
The prosecution is be initiated by the master of the slave who has been 
injured, chastised, c billed, and the Attorney-General of the Colony as Protec- 
tor of the slaves is Conduct the case. 

(12) Masters o ves are obliged every year to deliver to the justice of the 
town or village ir I district in which their estates are situated a list, signed 
and sworn to by t jof all the slaves which they have, giving particulars as to 
sex and age, in o hat the notary of the Court may take account of them 
in a separate boo (ch is to be kept for this purpose, together with the lists 
presented by the \rs. Whenever a slave dies or runs away the justice is to 

4 6 


be informed of this fact within three days, in order that the Attorney-General 
ma} r have this fact noted in the book ; otherwise the master will run the risk of 
suspicion of having killed his slave and of being prosecuted for such a crime. 

(13) In order that every possible means may be taken for ascertaining and 
checking the treatment of slaves by their masters or stewards, it is directed 
that the priests who go round the estates giving Christian instruction and 
saying Mass are to obtain information from the slaves as to how they are 
treated by their masters and stewards, so that if there is any wrong-doing the 
priest may give a secret and reserved notice of it to the Attorney-General, who 
will order the case to be investigated whether or not there is any truth in the 
complaint. The priests who by reason of their ministry give the said secret 
notice are not to be answerable for anything, even if the complaints of the 
slaves are not just. The priests are required to render this service so that 
the Attorney-General may cause the justice to nominate some individual of the 
municipality or other person of approved conduct, who shall investigate 
the business and give a report to the justice, who shall determine whether to 
take further proceedings or not. 

In addition to the priests the justices and magistrates shall appoint other 
persons of good character to visit the estates three times a year, to make inquiry 
whether all the chapters of the Ordinance are observed, and if not, to inform 
the justices of this default. " It is likewise declared to be a popular action, 
that of informing against a master or his steward for not having fulfilled one or 
the whole of the said chapters, as the name of the informer shall not be made 
known, and he shall have the (third) part of the fine which he is entitled to 
without being responsible in any other case than in that where it is proved that 
the information is false. And lastly, it is likewise declared that the justices and 
Attorney-General, as protectors of slaves, will be made answerable for any 
neglect of theirs in not having made use of the necessary means to have My 
Royal Resolutions put into execution." 

(14) The Chest of Fines is to be established at the Court of Justice in all 
towns and villages, to be provided with three keys, one of which will be held 
by the justice of the peace, another by the governor of the province, and the 
third by the Attorney-General. The produce of the fines stored in this Chest 
is to be used to meet the expense of carrying out the regulations of this 
Ordinance. Not a "single maravedi" is to be taken out of it for any other 
purpose, or without an order signed by the three who keep the keys, setting 
forth the destination of the money. Accounts as to this expenditure are to be 
submitted yearly to the Intendant of the province. 

Although this Spanish Slave Code of 1789 was not in many respects so 
explicitly benign towards the slaves as the Edict of Louis XIV in 1685, it was 
intended to be put in force (while the other had become a dead letter). The 
French planters complained of it in Haiti as likely tc lure slaves over the 
border into Spanish Santo Domingo ; the American set >rs in Georgia pro- 
tested as it caused many slaves from the United States j scape to Florida or 
Cuba; and when the British acquired Trinidad in 1797 aj British West Indian 
capitalists proceeded to invest their money in the island,) as expressly stipu- 
lated (in 181 1) that the Spanish Slave Code (in force tn rom 1789 to 1797) 
should be abrogated. 

In the seventeenth century the negro slaves of r, paniards did not 

welcome the British as deliverers either at the town of/ ) Domingo or in 








Jamaica. They fought gallantly with their Spanish masters to keep out the 
English, already acquiring a bad name as slave-drivers. 1 On the other hand, 
the Spaniards treated their Indian slaves with the greatest harshness, and all 
the arrangements made about bloodhounds tracking runaway slaves and 
being fed (to make them fierce) on human flesh had rather to do with 
fugitive or rebellious Arawaks or Caribs than Negroes. Indeed, down to the 
nineteenth century the Spanish as compared to the other European nations in 
America were not large holders of negro slaves. In Santo Domingo at the 
close of the eighteenth century there were only about 10,000; in Cuba (1792) 
84,000 ; in Porto Rico about 50,000 ; in Trinidad, Venezuela, New Andalusia, 
and Central America about 60,000 ; in Florida and Louisiana about 60,000. 

It was not until the second quarter of the nineteenth century that, in com- 
mercial rivalry with the now independent Hispaniola and the enfranchised 
British West Indies, the Spanish planters in Cuba (to whom had been added 
in 1795 French refugees from Haiti) began to overwork their slaves in the rush 
to get rich quickly out of sugar and tobacco ; and in the greater cost of servile 
labour due to the British stoppage of the oversea slave-trade. 

In spite of the mildness of the Spanish Slave Code the condition of their 
slaves during the nineteenth century — especially after 1853 — became almost 
unendurable ; the death-rate among them was very high, and those that suc- 
ceeded in escaping took to the forests and mountains and became some of the 
most dangerous fighters in the two great Cuban insurrections, from 1868 to 
1878, and from 1895 to 1898. The slaves were fed on coarse, unwholesome 
food, were subjected to exhausting, unremitting toil, and numbers of them died 
or went mad from the slow torture of overwork, insufficient rest, and want of 
sleep.' 2 The Catholic Church in Cuba in the nineteenth century, unlike the 
emissaries of the same Church in Haiti and Brazil, seems to have been utterly 
indifferent to the condition of the negro slaves. Many of these remained 
fetish-worshippers and believers in nauseous forms of sorcery ; and it was not 
till the American brought with him freedom of religion to misgoverned Cuba 
and with it came missionaries and teachers from the United States, Jamaica, 
and France that the negroes of Cuba— in some respects a fine, vigorous race- 
obtained any insight into the more reasonable aspects of Christianity. 

As regards the continental dominions of Spain in the two Americas, the 
slave-trade was prohibited soon after the various republics had proclaimed their 
complete independence. There had never been much demand for negroes on 
the mainland of Spanish America, except in the coast lands of Honduras, Costa 
Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela. 

The status of slavery was abolished in Guatemala by 1824, and in Mexico 
by 1829. The remainder of the Central American States started " free " In- 
ignoring the status of slavery in framing their constitutions. In Argentina, 
Peru, Chili, Bolivia, and Paraguay slavery ceased to be recognised in law about 
1825. It lingered longest in Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador, scarcely 
coming to an end until from 1840 to 1845. Of all parts of Spanish continental 
America perhaps the most negrified was the Panama isthmus, owing to the 

1 Intelligent European travellers in Africa and America during the last half of the eighteenth century 
recorded opinions of their own and answers to their questions from negroes which went to show that in 
the opinion of the negroes themselves the slave-holding nations stood thus in order of merit as regai .i~ 
kind treatment of slaves : the Portuguese first ; then the Spaniards, the Dams, the French, English, 
and Dutch. 

2 John.E. Cairnes, 77ie Slave Power, lis Character, Career, and Probable Designs, iS 13. 

4 8 


need for transport and the traffic from sea to sea. Even before the making of 
the canal attracted many thousand West Indians, the Panamanian population 
had a considerable negro element. 

In the regions of Northern South America, however, numbers of negroes 
had obtained their freedom by serving in the armies of Bolivar and other 
revolutionary leaders. Indeed, the independence of Venezuela and Colombia 
was partly won by the bravery of negro and mulatto soldiers fighting under 
Bolivar, Paez, and Sucre. And Bolivar was helped most materially during the 
critical years of his struggle (i 814-16) by the assistance in men, arms, and 
money — two expeditions in all — granted to him by General Petion, who was 



then ruling the southern part of the negro republic of Haiti. Twice did Bolivar, 
the Liberator of South America, find a secure refuge at Aux Cayes in Southern 
Haiti when all other neutral ports were closed to him. Yet at a later date he 
showed himself most ungrateful to the Haitians : affecting to ignore the 
existence of their republic and omitting to send to them as well as to all the 
other recently enfranchised states any diplomatic representative of his new 

In Santo Domingo — the Spanish portion of Hispaniola — slavery came to 
an end (more or less) in 1801, when Toussaint Louverture had made him- 
self master of the whole island. The Spanish authorities had quitted San 
Domingo soon after the Treaty of Bale (1795) had transferred to France all 
Spanish rights over Hispaniola. In 1808, however, the Spaniards returned to 



the eastern part of the island to resume possession of their old colony, and the 
English assisted them by taking the town of Santo Domingo from the French, 
who thenceforth were without a foothold on the island. 

Occasional attempts were made by the Spaniards between 1809 and 1 82 1 
to coerce the enfranchised negro settlers ; and the Spanish officials of the 
restored regime of Ferdinand VII (whose ashes should be exhumed and 
scattered, for he was the worst foe to the glory and greatness of Spain that 
ever existed) made themselves so odious to the native inhabitants, without 
distinction, that the intervention of negro Haiti was sought, the Spaniards were 
expelled, and from 1822 to 1843 the whole of Hispaniola was united under one 
government, that of Haiti. 

But the Spanish-speaking Domingans were mainly of mixed Amerindian- 
Spanish or nearly pure Spanish descent : only about a third were negro, and 
these negroes had long absorbed and adopted the gravity and stateliness of 
Spanish manners. The French negroes and mulattoes of Haiti with their incom- 
prehensible Creole speech, 
their extravagances of words 
and actions, their frequent 
changes of government, civil 
wars, and murderous courts- 
martial disgusted the quieter 
people of Santo Domingo. 
So in 1843 Haitian rule was 
shaken off and in 1844 a 
separate Dominican Republic 
proclaimed. During the 
" twenties " of the nineteenth 
century a small number of 
United States free negroes 
had settled on the Samana 
peninsula of San 
as farmers and 



their de- 
(now nearly a thousand in number) remain there to this day, still 

talking a broken English. 

From 1844 to 1861 the Dominican Republic had a very chequered existence, 
dreading negro invasions from the west or revolutions from within. The United 
States — here as in Haiti — were disliked because they still upheld humiliating 
social distinctions of colour. The thoughts of the Spanish-speaking Domingans 
turned once more towards Spain, and Queen Isabella II was invited to send 
troops to occupy their country and reorganise Santo Domingo as a Spanish 
colony. But a tactless archbishop and fanatical Spanish clergy were sent with 
the expeditionary force, and quarrelled with the natives on the subject of 
religion. The Spanish officials, civil and military, were equally stupid, and 
after two years' vain endeavours to win over the Domingans to the same style 
of colonial government as that which was ruining Cuba the Spaniards quitted 
Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic was restored. Then followed 
more than thirty years of financial chaos and indiscriminate loans; revolutions; 
assassinations ; yellow fever ; and a stationary population in a land as near the 
Earthly Paradise in climate, soil, fruits, scenery, and inherent healthfulncss as 
one can expect to find in the known world. The enunciation of the Monroe 
Doctrine prevented the intervention of an)- European Power to restore order 



in the Dominican government and finance. So, however reluctantly at first, 
the Domingans were obliged (1905) to place themselves in the hands of the 
United States, whose intervention has been of much the same type as that of 
Britain in Egypt and with the same happy results. Santo Domingo is now 
going ahead, but mainly in the direction of the White man's interests. 

The white race preponderated even at the end of the eighteenth century, 




though it was compounded of a nearly equal mixture of Spanish and Amer- 
indian blood. Spanish interest in Hispaniola had languished after the first eager 
development of the sixteenth century. The enormous mineral wealth of 
continental America, the less mountainous character of Cuba and Porto Rico 
drew the stream of Spanish migration elsewhere than to the first metropolis of 
" the Indies." At the same time, the enormous increase of wild cattle in 
Hispaniola (due to the depopulation) attracted to this island — especially to the 


5 1 

western part— the pirates and "Buccaneers"; 1 who from their base (the little 

island of Tortuga, off the north-west coast of Haiti) harassed the sparse 

Spanish population of San Domingo. Although San Domingo was the first 

portion of the New World in which the sugar-cane was cultivated and there 

were many mills for cane crushing at work there in 

1550, the Spaniards preferred after the sixteenth 

century to carry on their sugar production in Cuba, 

Porto Rico, and on the South American mainland. 

So the import of negroes into derelict Santo Domingo 

dwindled until a slight revival of industries occurred 

again in the middle of the eighteenth century. 

The Spanish Domingans were racially stricter 

in morals than the French. They did not so readily 

mix their blood with that of the negro. The dark 

olive complexions of so many of the people are 

rather due to the Amerindians (Arawak, Lucayan, 

Carib) so freely espoused by the early Spanish 

immigrants, than to sexual union with the Negro. 

Yet there is a negroid element in the modern 

Domingans, but this rather comes from the Haitian 

mulattoes, many of whom settled in the Spanish 

portion of Hispaniola and intermarried freely with 

the Domingan mestizo. This mingling of the three 

strains in San Domingo has produced some vigorous 

types in mentality and physical energy, even if they 

lack the often remarkable beauty of facial outline to be seen in those 

Domingans — half Spanish, half Amerindian — in whom there is no negroid 

intermixture. (See for further information regarding the Domingans, p. 183.) 

Of the tripartite mixed types General Jose Miguel Gomez, the President of 

Cuba, is a good example. General 
Gomez is a native of San Do- 
mingo who migrated to Cuba and 
took a leading part in the war 
against Spain (1895-8). 

Yet some of the direct 
Spanish-Negro hybrids are hand- 
some men and women in regard 
to facial features and bodily 
shape, offering a remarkable 
resemblance sometimes to the 
good-looking negroids of North 
and North -East Africa. But 
there is also a subtle difference 
between the Hispanicised negro 
and the other blacks who have 


Haitian frontier grown up under Anglo-Saxon, 

An American customs officer is in charge French, Or Portuguese tutelage; 


1 From the Creole word "Boucanier." The Boucaniers were men, mostly French ami English, 
who hunted the wild cattle and then smoke-dried, sun-dried, or baked the meat on or in Boucans. A 
boucan was a wooden gridiron, an invention of the Caribs for partially cooking and preserving human 
flesh ; or some say really meant a clay underground oven applied to the same purpose. 



a difference not always attributable to an infusion of Spanish blood : he is 
prouder, more reserved, more self-respecting ; shows better taste in dress, 
has no servility of manner, is quietly courteous and astonishingly brave. 

Poor Spain ! Her people have such splendid qualities that mere contact 
with them has improved the often hostile races which have ranged themselves 
alongside — the Arab and Berber; the Irish, English, and Anglo-Celtic 
American ; the Frenchman and Italian ; the Jew ; and the Negro. She ought 
to have been the premier nation of the world, combining the best of racial 


strains or mental influence: of the Celt-Iberian, Carthaginian. Roman, [Goth, 
Jew, Arab, Libyan and Provencal, German and Italian. Yet her every purpose 
has been baulked : her valour and religious zeal ; her shipbuilding, gun-casting, 
fortress-construction ; her mastery of the art of painting and appreciation of 
the value of colour in the church, the home, the city, and the landscape ; her 
magnificent literature written in the simplest, noblest, most logical development 
of the Latin speech ; her people's unflagging industry : all these have availed 
her nothing in that three hundred and thirty years' long struggle with the 
Anglo-Saxon for supremacy in the New World which began by the attack of 




Sir John Hawkins and Francis Drake on the Spanish fleet at San Juan d 
Uliia 1 off the coast of Mexico in 1568 and ended in the surrender of Cuba t 
the Americans in 1898. 

The slave-trade with America, and the introduction of the Negro into the 
New World, were, as we see, directly due to the rulers and ecclesiastics of 
Spain, though with no evil intention. The very word "Negro" is Spanish in 
form, for the Italian rendering of the Latin adjectival-stem nigro is nero, and 


the Portuguese by the fifteenth century had let "negro" fall into disuse, pre- 
ferring to employ in the sense of " black " the obscure adjective preto. 

[In the old French of the Crusades — 1 100-1300 A. I). — the term for " negro" 
is nigre, afterwards lost in more modern French ; or la neire gent. In 1400- 
1500 French it is generally moricaudi\ 

To the Spanish language or to Spanish slang (rather than Portuguese) we 
are indebted for all the words in use to indicate the various shades and degrees 

1 The first European nation to defy the Popes Bull and impinge on the Iberian monopoly of the 
New World was France, not England — Norman, Breton, and atterwards Protestant North-Western 
France ; who in 1541 built the first European fort in Canada, in 1542 attacked Cartagena, in 1555 
occupied Havana for a month, in 1558-67 colonised Rio de Janeiro, and in 1562-5 founded " Ar\ 
Carolina" near the mouth of the St. John's River (May port), in Northern Florida. 



of hybridism between the Negro and other races. As these words will recur in 
the course of this book, it may be as well to enumerate and explain them 
here : — 

A MULATTO (Spanish, Mulato or "muled") is the cross between a pure-blood 
white man and a pure-blood negro. (Pardo is an equivalent sometimes used by 

A tree cactus of Santo Domingo (forming much of the scrub there) 

the Portuguese.) MESTIZO is the Spanish term for the hybrid between a white 
man and an Amerindian. MAMELUCO is the Portuguese (Brazilian) equivalent 
for Mestizo. 

CREOLE (Spanish, Criollo, corruption of eriadillo, "a little educated child ") 
is a term which originally meant and still most frequently means a white colonist 
born in tropical America or Asia, but of pure European descent. But in Brazil 



and Peru it is applied to half-castes, or even (in Brazil) to absolute negroes of 
Brazilian birth and descended from negroes long settled in Brazil. In Sierra 
Leone the negroes who are freed slaves, or are descended from freed slaves not 
indigenous to the country, call themselves " Creoles." Nevertheless, " Creole " 


is in the West Indies, Louisiana, and Spanish America (also in the Seychelles, 
Mauritius, and Bourbon), a native inhabitant of the White race. 

The children of Mulattoes— mulatto father and mulatto mother — are styled 
CASCOS in Spanish America. 

Quadroon (French, "Marabou"), Quinteroon, Octoroon (Spanish, Cuarteron, 
Quinteron, and Octoron or Octaron) are the designation of negroids mingled in 
increasing degrees with pure whites : thus a quadroon has one-fourth of negro 


blood, a quinteroon one-fifth, and an octoroon one-eighth. To these distinctions 
the Anglo-Saxon American adds another — the Near White, sprung perhaps 
from the union of an octoroon with a pure white. In most countries outside the 
United States, and perhaps Jamaica, the " near white," with one-sixteenth or 
less of negro blood, is reputed white and treated accordingly. (Alexandre 
Dumas — possibly even the Empress Josephine — was a " near white "). 

A ZAMBO or Sambo (Spanish, Zambo, " bandy-legged ") is a cross between 
a Negro and an Amerindian (sometimes this name is given to the cross between 
a pure Negro and a mulatto, which the French call " griffe.") In Brazil the 
offspring of a Zambo or Caburete (half negro, half Amerindian) and a pure Negro 
is called Zambo preto or Cafuso, between a Mestizo (half European, half Amer- 
indian) and a Negro, Chino. The descendants of Zambos are sometimes called 
Cholos. A very common Brazilian term, CABOCLO or Cabocolo, means a civilized 
pure-blooded Amerindian. 



IN the latest official census of Cuba (1907-8) there is a native population 
of 2,049,000 ; of which no less than 609,000 are classed as Negroes. 
242,382 of these " coloured " people are unmixed negroes, of very black 
complexion : the balance of the 609,000 are mulattoes of varying tints. The 

Descendants of Cuban aborigines, East Cuba 

colour line in Cuba is obviously not drawn with unkind precision ; octoroons and 
people with only a slight evidence of negro ancestry may be classed officially 
as whites. And it is evident to any observant traveller penetrating into the 
country districts of Cuba that the Spanish peasantry of ancient settlement (as 
contrasted with the new Spanish immigrants since 1898) are considerably mixed 




in blood with the Amerindian, and that the "Indian" aboriginies of Cuba, 
instead of becoming extinct in the middle of the sixteenth century, have as 
half-breeds lingered in Central and Eastern Cuba to the present day. Pure- 
blood " Indians" are said to have existed in the East Cuban mountains down to 
the early part of the nineteenth century, and I have seen " Indian" reserva- 
tions of land which were only finally broken up and thrown open to general 
settlement (mainly by Amerindian half-breeds) by the Spanish Government 
forty years ago. It is evident (to me) that a large proportion of the Cuban 
aborigines were not exterminated, but became absorbed into the Spanish-speak- 
ing community. 

Thus in Cuba at the present day — Cuba with a superficies of over 44,000 
square miles — there are three main elements of population : a million pure- 



blooded whites (mainly Spanish, but with an American, Canadian, and a French 
admixture not to be overlooked) ; half a million yellows (mixed Indian and 
Spanish); and over half a million negroes and negroids, the quadroon and 
octoroon members of which class being always eager to desert the negro camp 
and fuse with the yellow Cuban middle-class. 1 Gradually the three or four 
hundred thousand negroes or dark-skinned negroids of Cuba are segregating 
into a racial group apart from the whites and yellows, but a group to which it 
is incorrect to apply any derogatory classification as regards industry or 
intellect. Many Cuban negroes are wealthy citizens, dwelling in good town 
houses, and possessing flourishing country farms ; their wives are well dressed, 
and their children are being well educated. Negroes or dark mulattoes are to be 
found in all the professions and in nearly every branch of the government 

1 There has also been a slight intermarriage with the Chinese where these people (coming from 
Jamaica to the extent of three or four thousand) have settled in the coast towns or along the railways. 



service, notably in the police, army, post office, and public works. While 
the negroes are inferior in many qualifications to the pure-blood whites of 
Cuba, they may certainly be ranked next to them in physical efficiency and 
in mental vigour. They are a more potent factor in this country than the 
oldest section of the population, the yellow-skinned Spanish-Indian hybrid. 

Yet Cuba is more a white man's country 1 than a future realm of the black 
man. The Cuban aristocracy and the town bourgeoisie are quite free from 
negro intermixture, are, in fact, very much like the population of Southern 
Spain. This white element has been re-enforced during recent years by a 
strong contingent of Spanish immigrants, numbering in 1908 185,398. These 
peasant settlers come mainly from Galicia, the Asturias, and the Basque 
provinces, and constitute a most valuable addition to Cuba's resources : for 
they are indefatigable workers, are sober, quiet, thrifty and moral. Wives have 
accompanied husbands and Spanish children are 
constantly raising the Cuban birth-rate. The 
success of these new Spanish colonists is attract- 
ing other immigrants from Spain and the Canary 
Islands, and if this continues for a few more 
years Cuba bids fair to become an independent 
Spanish-speaking Republic. 

But for this movement (since 1898) Cuba 

had a considerable chance in the near future of 

developing into another Haiti or a San Domingo. 

The birth-rate among the " white " Cuban 

peasantry was low, that of the negroes high. 

Many families of the Spanish planting aristocracy 

had been ruined by the War of Independence 

and had retired to Spain. The negroes were 

brave fighters and had been the backbone of 

the revolt, supplying the insurgents with their 

stubbornest fighting force. They, in common 

with all Cuban citizens, without distinction of 

race or colour, had received the franchise under 

the new Republican Cuban Constitution. In an 

independent Cuba without outside interference 

the " coloured " vote would soon have amounted to a third of the total, and 

before long to a half, and finally have preponderated over the white 

element — with what effect on public order or efficiency it is difficult to say, 

since the Cuban negro differs in many characteristics from the dark race in the 

United States and in Haiti, and has not yet been sufficiently tried in positions of 

responsibility and public trust to have established a racial character, good or bad. 

But the recent Spanish immigration has decided the balance in favour of a 

White Cuba, and this idea will be strengthened by the several thousand 

Americans and the hundreds of Canadians, Englishmen, Frenchmen, and 

Germans who are settling in this truly beautiful country in charge of great 

interests and developments of industry and commerce. 2 

1 Few people who have not visited Cuba are aware how emphatically "white" is a considerable 
proportion— at least one half— of its population of 2,049,000. The people of the large and ancient town 
of Camaguey (for example), in Central Cuba, are entirely of white Spanish descent, and their women are 
justly renowned for beauty. 

- The great landed proprietors— Spaniards in the past, now mainly Americans— dwell often in marble 
palaces near their sugar plantations, which recall the most sumptuous dwellings of Andalusia. 





The black man who fought so bravely to establish Cuban independence 
from the crippling, choking regime of Nineteenth-Century Spain, runs some 
risk of being shouldered to one side by the rising White interests. For this 
reason a " party of colour " came into existence during the election period of 
1908. It is under the leadership of an officer in the long War of Independence 
— General Morua Delgado — and will proceed to watch politics in the special 
interest of the negro voters. 

But up to the present time the negroes of Cuba (since 1898) have had no 

r - • V IL " 1$r$\v^ *»•*' r> \ v v 


subject of complaint against the Cuban or American administration of the 
island or against White "society." There is as yet no "colour line" in public 
conveyances, resorts, or places of entertainment. There have been negro 
mayors of towns and even negroid candidates for the government of provinces. 
Several members of the recently installed Cuban Government are persons 
tinged with negro blood. 

Yet the negro is losing ground, politically and socially, and unless he is 
content with his present status of farmer, labourer, petty tradesman, minor 
employe, and domestic servant, there will arise a " colour " question here as in 
the United States. 





At present, I repeat, there is none. Negroes and negresses travel alongside 

white Cubans in trains or street cars, sit next them in cafes, theatres, and 

churches, and the men match their birds against 

each other at those cock-fights which are still 

the most important pastime in Cuban life. The 

negro or negress merits this liberality of treat- 
ment on the part of White Cuba by being always 

well dressed, clean, and well mannered in public 

life. A larger proportion of the coloured people 

here 1 can read and write than is the case in 

most of the Southern States of the Union. They 

speak as good Spanish as do the white Cubans, 

and struck me as being industrious, quiet, sober, 

and prosperous. I noticed especially the good 

taste and good quality of the negro costumes in 

town and country. There was no overdressing, 

no ridiculous ostentation of patent leather boots 

at inappropriate seasons by the men, nor the 

perpetuation of the outworn horrors of European 

taste — chimney-pot hats and frock coats. The 

women seemed "just right" in their costumes — 

so elegant often that after studying with interest 

the shape and colour of the dress, one glanced 

with a start at the dark brown or yellow face of 

the wearer, surprised (unjustly enough) 
to find so much taste and gracefulness 
conjoined with the negro physiognomy. 
There was no blind copying of European 
fashions, whether or no they were suited 
to a person of dark skin and woolly hair; 
but a certain originality in the colour and 
cut of garments, the shape of hats and 
the arrangement of the chevelure which 
betokened thoughtfulness and innate 
good taste. If I were asked how the 
civilised negro and negress should dress 
in a warm climate I should reply " as in 

The country negroes of course clothe 
themselves more after the fashion of 
peasants — Spanish peasants : yet even 
here there is a self-respect, an eye for 
suitable colours and shapes, an appro- 
priateness to the tasks to be performed, 
superior to the slovenly dress of the 
United States negro country-folk or the 
occasional nudity of the male Haitian 
peasant-proprietor. The children in the 
country (white, even, as well as black) 
are most sensibly allowed to run about 

Perhaps only 25 per cent are illiterate. 




in warm weather with scarcely any clothes. In the towns the negro children — 
especially the little girls — are prettily dressed, and never in bad taste or with 
ostentatious finery. 

Altogether, socially and materially, in Cuba the American negro appears 
at his best, so far as an average can be struck. Nowhere of course is there the 
intellectual development of the United States negro in his higher types : on 
the other hand, I did not see any real squalor, stupid barbarity, aggressive 
noisiness, or ill manners. The country homes seemed better and neater than 


the worst class of negro habitation in the Southern States ; the town dwellings 
might not always be sanitary, but they had about them the dignity of Spain. 

The dwellings and surroundings of the Cuban negro peasantry are often 
attractive to the eye of a painter. An invariable feature in every household, 
where there is a man, is the gamecock. The Cubans, black and yellow, are 
passionately fond of cock-fighting, and although the Americans have tried to 
suppress this (they have completely done away with bull-fights), they have not 
succeeded. The beautiful game-fowl bred for this sport are certainly a further 
episode of picturesqueness in Cuban life — as are the magnificent long-horned 
cattle, the gaily caparisoned mules, and the barb riding-horses. 

In Cuba the ever imitative negro race has acquired the pride of bearing, the 
good taste in dress and demeanour of the Castilian. The bad points in the 



negro population of Cuba are described to me by Cubans and Americans as 
(1) the tendency to form secret and Masonic societies which are more often than 
not leagues for the committing of crimes and foul practices ; (2) gross im- 
morality ; (3) petty dishonesty. Their ardent love of gambling is so completely 
shared by their white and yellow fellow-citizens in Cuba, as also their over- 
bearing demeanour and dishonest)- when employed as petty officials, that 
it would be pharisaism on the part of white critics to add these charges to 
the list. 

The country negroes of Cuba are imperfectly converted to Christianity. 
The Spanish branch of the Church of Rome has not taken them to its bosom 


with any cordiality since the early nineteenth century, and they are now, with 
real political freedom, steadily turning away from that church towards a vague 
and vicious heathenism — the fetishistic religions of West Africa— or, with 
decided moral improvement, towards the Methodism, even the Anglicanism, of 
the United States and Jamaica. The growing influence of Jamaica over the 
negroes of Cuba (Eastern Cuba, mostly) and of Haiti is so marked as to 
constitute almost a political factor in the future development of the Negro 
problem in America. Certainly the black Jamaicans who spread far and wide 
over the vast archipelago of the West Indies and the territories of Central 
America seem to be intelligent missionaries of a practical type of civilisation 
and enthusiastically " British." 

6 4 


In Haiti, the Church of Rome, as directed by a French clergy and French 
seminarists, is seen at its best : in the forefront of scientific research and 
imparting a sound education in practical matters. Here the Methodists and 
Baptists, or the Episcopalians of the States, make little progress in religious 
propaganda, and the influence of Jamaicans and Bahamans is mainly commer- 
cial. But in Cuba — perhaps also Santo Domingo — the Jamaican and the 
American bishops, pastors and teachers are rapidly drawing the negro population 
within the Protestant fold, certainly to the advantage of their moral and material 
value. Any religious influence which can sap and finally destroy these odious 
(and at their best, silly) secret societies — against which Rome has always set 
her face — cannot but benefit the Cuban negroes (for example). Moreover, 

missionary teaching — of any branch 
of the Christian faith — invariably 
breaks down racial prejudices and 
instils the love of a good and orderly 

One direction in which Rome is 
losing negro adherents in Cuba and 
Anglo - American 

protestant Chris- 
matter of 


tianity gaining, is in the 
marriages and baptisms, 
to various informants the Roman 
Church in this island (as represented 
not only by the Spanish clergy, but 
by the recently established French 
priests whom the religious troubles 
of the Congregations have driven to 
Cuba and elsewhere) makes marriage 
so expensive a ceremony that Cuban 
negroes — or Cuban whites — prefer 
living in a state of concubinage to 
paying the fees demanded. (I asked, 
however, in one small town what was 
the minimum fee, and was told "five 
dollars"— £\ — which does not sound 
very prohibitive even to a Cuban 
negro.) On the other hand, the 
Baptists, Methodists, or Episco- 
palians marry and baptise for nothing. The greatest attraction, however, 
which these younger churches offer to the negro all over America is a 
larger individual participation in the service. Hymn-and-psalm-singing is 
enormously attractive to this emotional, music-loving race. " A Jamaican 
Baptist came here last year with a portable organ and interested the people 
in his services," said an English resident to me in Eastern Cuba, " and there 
you see the result : the Catholic church is abandoned and shut up. while 
over there is the new meeting-house where the people assemble to sing hymns." 
In another part of Southern Cuba three thousand Cubans, mostly negroes, had 
gone over to American Episcopalianism, mainly owing to the genial services 
provided " in which they themselves could take part." I glanced at the hymns 
used, and noticed they were all in Spanish translations. 

The white Cubans charge the' negroes with still maintaining in their midst 




the dark Vudu or Hudu mysteries of West Africa. 1 There seems to be no 
doubt that the black people of Cuba (not the mulattoes) do belong to a number 
of secret or Masonic societies, the most widely-heard of being the Xyan'ego; 
and it is possible that these confraternities or clubs are associated with immoral 

' \ 


purposes. They originated in a league of defence against the tyranny of the 
masters in the old slavery days. Several of them (as described to me) sounded 
as harmless as our United Order of Buffaloes. But those seeking after 
scientific truth should discount much that may be read on Vuduism. This 
supposed Dahomean or Niger Delta cult of the python or big serpent (monitor, 

See pp. 193-4, 196, and 253 



lizard, crocodile or leopard), with which are associated frenzied dancing, mes- 
merism, gross immorality, cannibalism or corpse eating really exists (or ex- 
isted) all over West Africa, from Sierra Leone to Tanganyika, and no doubt 
was introduced by Inner Congo, Niger Delta or Dahome slaves into Haiti, 
Cuba, Louisiana, South Carolina, Jamaica, the Guianas and Brazil. Where 
Christianity of a modern type has obtained little or no influence over the negro 
slaves and ex-slaves, these wild dances and witchcraft persist. They are fast 
becoming a past phase in the life-condition of the American negro, and much 



of the evidence to the contrary is out of date, or is manufactured by sensation- 
mongers for the compilation of magazine articles. 

The last vestige of noxious witchcraft lingering among the Cuban negroes 
is (said to be) the belief that the heart's blood or the heart of a white child will 
cure certain terrible diseases if consumed by the sufferer. The black prac- 
titioners who endeavour to procure this wonderful remedy are known as 
" Brujos " or " Brujas " (i.e. male or female sorcerers). At the time I was in 
Cuba (December, 1908), there were four or five negroes awaiting trial on this 
charge at Havana. Other cases — said to have been proved beyond a doubt — 
have occurred in Eastern Cuba within the last two or three years. But all 
these stories and charges are vague hearsay, and during the short time at 
my disposal I was not able to get proof of one. There is little doubt that 

CUBA 67 

occasionally in the low quarters of the old Spanish towns little white girls do 
disappear. It is too readily assumed that the negro is at fault. 

I was informed by every resident or official whom I questioned that cases 
of negro assaults on white women were practically unknown in Cuba. On the 
other hand, young coloured or negro women and girls were never safe with 
men of their own race, that rape, or indecent assault, was the commonest 
charge on which negroes were arraigned. But further inquiry elicited that 
these attacks were generally made by young unmarried men on young un- 
married women : were in fact a rough-and-ready courtship which would be 
more frequently followed by a formal marriage were it not that marriage fees 
(of State or Church?) were too high. The girl generally only brought the 
charge to compel the man to marry her. The Cuban courts in such instances 


are ready to waive punishment if the culprit and his victim are unmarried and 
are ready to go through the form of marriage in court. But it is said that 
many a young negro husband afterwards deserts the woman he has wronged. 

Before quitting the subject of the Negro in Cuba I might perhaps give some 
description of the beautiful island— nearly as large as England — which would 
quite conceivably have become in time an independent Negro or Negroid 
State, but for the intervention of the American Government in 1898; an 
intervention which, with its results, made it possible and tempting for white 
emigrants to come here in such numbers as to turn the balance of potency. 

In the first place— from the Negro's point of view, as well as the White 
man's — it ought at once to be said that not only are the Cubans of all colours 
greatly indebted to the courage, genius, and high-mindedness of the United 
States for the character and achievements of their intervention, but that the 
whole of Tropical America should give thanks for seven years of Twentieth- 



Century Anglo-Saxondom in this island; a splendid property which Spain mis- 
understood and misused. 

(Anglo-Saxondom, be it understood, means in the United States very often 
—as in modern Britain— the co-operation of Irish energy, Huguenot genius, 
and German-Jewish shrewdness with English courage and Scottish tenacity.) 

Assistant on great sugar plantation 

The Americans have completely extirpated Yellow Fever ; have got rid of 
a good deal of Malaria in the same way (by draining, and by protecting 
dwellings against the mosquito with wire-gauze windows.) They have made 
the Press, speech, and literature absolutely free. Before they came the Bible 
in English or Spanish was contraband, and the embargo on modern literature 
what it was in Turkey under the Hamidian regime. They have endowed the 



Cuban towns with magnificent public works, paved streets, and pure water; 
they have turned brigands into politicians (at any rate harmless to life), 
barracks into hotels, prisons into libraries, and hospitals into schools. They 
founded a great, secure National Bank ; they established primary education on 
a well-equipped basis, and made education compulsory. Religion was freed 
from every trammel. Passports were abolished. Tourists increased from about 
ten per annum to a yearly thirty thousand. The beauty of the Spanish towns 
was not only left undisturbed, but was repaired and enhanced. The railway 
system under English, Canadian, and American management was extended 
throughout the length and breadth of the island. Good sanitation was intro- 
duced everywhere, together with up-to-date hospitals, new-style doctors and 
dentists, and scientifically trained nurses. 1 


This endowment (much of it paid for with American money) was Uncle 
Sam's send-off to the Cuban Republic ; and it now rests with the white, yellow, 
and black Cubans to show that they can govern themselves in a manner suited 
to twentieth-century ideas and ideals. 

The following extracts from my travel notes may give some idea of what a 
beautiful home the negro — as well as the white man — has in Cuba :— 

The dominant note in the scenery is certainly struck by the royal palm {Oreodoxa 
regia). This is possibly the most beautiful and stately member of a princely order of 
plants. It is especially characteristic of Cuba, for although found also (sparingly) in 
Hispaniola and in Porto Rico, it is not native to the other Antilles or to tropical 
America. The stems of the royal palms are absolutely smooth, rounded like columns, 

1 The other side of the medal is the much-increased cost of living which has prevailed since the 
American occupation. The clearness of comfortable living in Havana and most other Cuban towns is 

the only deterrent which can be quoted— besides the sea voyage— to explain why Cuba should not he the 
principal winter resort of civilised America. 



and a uniform grey-white. The fronds as they wither fall off cleanly, leaving no per- 
ceptible roughness or scar ; the result is that a row of royal palms looks like a colonnade 
of white marble pillars crowned with a copious but neatly arranged gerbe of glossy green 
fronds. The greenish — and when ripe, creamy white — blossoms (followed by small, 
shining, reddish fruit) grow out with prim neatness below the sheaf of fronds, just where 
the white marble column of the stem changes, without transition of tint, into the smooth 
emerald-green midribs of the ascending plumes of the fronds. Nearly every residence 
or even farmstead in Cuba is approached by an avenue of these palms, and although 
they do not precisely grow in forests, still the royal palms permeate Cuba with their 
stately influence, redeeming the landscapes from any meanness, even where industrialism 
has aimed at substituting the prosperous sameness of sugar-cane, cotton, or tobacco for 
the variegated colour and outline of forest, bamboo thicket, and prairie. Other note- 
worthy features in the landscapes of the plains and foothills are the brakes of glaucous 
green palmetto (Saba/ and /nodes) and clumps or actual forests of two other types of 
tall, smooth-stemmed fan-palm, belonging to the genera Coccothrinax and Thrinax. 

Huge bamboos (besides dwarf species) grow all over Cuba. The smaller bamboos 
of the genus Aretiaria (similar to those of the Southern States) are obviously indigenous, 
as in Haiti. But a good many botanists maintain that the tall bamboos of Cuba, Haiti, 
and Jamaica, Trinidad, and other West Indian islands are of an introduced East Indian 
species. If so, this imported bamboo has spread everywhere in these lands till it has 
become an essential — and very beautiful — feature in the scenery. 

An indigenous plant which arrests one's attention in Cuba from its striking appearance 
is the cycad, which grows so commonly by the roadside or at the thresholds of the 
cottages, no doubt planted by the natives for its handsome appearance. 

Above 2000 feet (ordinarily) the Bahama pine makes its appearance, where it has 
not already been destroyed by reckless wood-cutting under the Spanish regime. In the 
Island of Pines this handsome and valuable conifer grows as low down as 500 feet 
altitude above sea-level. 

Where the land has not been cleared for plantations, or its elevation (above 3000 
or 4000 feet) 1 does not induce a temperate climate, the surface of Cuba is still clothed 
with dense tropical forest, in which the Cuban mahogany and ebony trees and a good 
many examples of the flora of Central America are met with. These forests mostly 
linger in East-Central and Eastern Cuba. They are being somewhat ruthlessly cut down 
by lumber concessionnaires. The Government of the Cuban Republic is not yet suffi- 
ciently awake to the importance of preserving forests in due measure for the climate 
and the amenities of scenery. There is a feature in the Cuban woodland which at once 
attracts the attention of the tourist coming from the north, and new to the American 
tropics, namely, the large number of aerophytic or epiphytic growths on the branches 
and trunks of big trees. These consist of lizard-like fig trees, which eventually strangle 
their host ; of members of the pineapple family (Bromeliacece) ; of cacti, aroids, orchids, 
and ferns. In Cuba the commonest growth on the trees is a pretty aloe-like Ti/Iandsia, 
with a spike of reddish-yellow buds, disappointing in that they barely open their petals. 
This epiphytic growth begins in the forests of the Southern States in the form of the 
celebrated " Spanish moss." Few people seem to be aware that this extraordinary 
growth is not a " moss ' : or a lichen, but belongs to a genus (Ttllandsia) of the pine- 
apple family ! 

The moister climate of the Antilles makes them less suited to cactus growth than 
the arid regions of the United States and of Mexico. Still cacti enter considerably, 
and picturesquely, into the scenery of Eastern Cuba, especially on sandy flats, which are 
the recently raised beds of former estuaries or lakes. Here the tall cacti, especially 

1 The really lofty Cuban mountains are in the south-eastern part of the island, where the Sierra Maestra 
range rises to 8400 feet abruptly from the sea-coast. Its appearance is majestic. Elsewhere, though 
the island is hilly (and the hills gave the Cuban insurgents many impregnable retreats), the altitudes 
seldom reach 3000 feet. 




of the genus Cereus, offer a striking parallel in appearance and role to the euphorbias. 
Like them they rise up out of the barren, sun-smitten waste, and serve as a shelter and 
a nucleus for other vegetation, thus in time creating oases of forest. 

The rivers of Cuba, though seldom offering much facilities of navigation (except, 
perhaps, the case of the Rio Cauto of Eastern Cuba, which has a navigable course 
inland from its mouth of about forty miles for small boats), are remarkable from the 
point of view of scenery. Their upper courses are a succession of boiling rapids and 
snowy falls, as they tear down through the splendid forest of the hills and plateaus. 
The bed of each river (away from the alluvial plains) being usually bare limestone, the 


colour of the water is a lovely greenish blue. Sometimes they flow over a long series 
of abrupt steps in the rocks, exactly like the formal descents of artificial cascades. 
When they have reached sea-level they meander through swampy forests of South 
American luxuriance, or create vast swamps which are jungles of reeds, rushes, and 
"water-hyacinths," and the home of countless herons, tree-ducks, pelicans, darters, rails, 
and jacanas. The south coast of Cuba, away from the eastern prolongation, possesses 
more swamp lands of great extent than the northern part of the island. Zapata swamp, 
in the south of Cuba, is over 2000 square miles in area. This region is, or was, the 
breeding-ground of myriads of white herons (egrets) ; and here, in spite of native and 
American gunners, urged on a career of abomination by the misplaced taste of forty 
millions of unthinking American and European women, the beautiful white Ardea 
egretta is sufficiently numerous to be quite a feature in the landscape. The parrots in 
Cuba are becoming scarce, but the little green todies (with crimson breasts) are still 



as tame as robins, and the humming-birds will continue to buzz round the blossoms 
until they are finally extinguished by the plumage-hunters. It is supposed that Cuba 
possesses the smallest humming-bird in the world — Calypte heletice (named after Princess- 
Christian) ; but this may have a rival in tininess in a Peruvian species of Acestrura. The 


Calypte heleuce is an exquisite little creature not quite 2\ inches long with a forked 
crimson gorget. Its nearest relations are in Southern California. 

No one visiting the forests of Eastern Cuba can readily forget his first sight of the 
trogon peculiar to Cuba — the Prionotelus temnurus. It is not difficult to watch it at close 
quarters in its favourite resorts, sitting on a bough with upturned head, displaying its 
white shirt-front and gorgeous crimson scarlet stomach, and uttering at intervals a low 
and singularly musical cry. The Cubans call it tocoloro. 



Other prominent birds in the Cuban 
landscapes are the bold Poly horns hawks 
(P. cheriway) stalking about after their 
prey like the African secretary bird (the 
Po/vborus type is not found in Hispaniola 
or Tamaica, and possibly reached Cuba 
from Florida) ; the prettily coloured 
kestrels (found also in Hispaniola) of 
vivid orange-chestnut, dove-grey, and 
black barrings ; the very numerous black 
cuckoos ( Crotophagd) with parrot beaks ; 
and the Turkey buzzards ( Cathartes aura). 
These last are only found in Cuba, the Ba- 
hamas, and Jamaica; not in Hispaniola. 

In Cuba, as in Hispaniola, the do- 
mestic pig has run wild, and developed 
into a lean long-legged, miniature wild- 
boar. The forests, moreover, of Cuba and 
of Haiti are full of deer. These I found 
to be simply roebuck, with, in the male, 
rather fine antlers. The history of this 
introduction is that the French first of all 
brought the roe from France to Marti- 
nique ; then, as they throve there, the 
roe deer were carried on to Haiti and San 
Domingo, whence the French refugees in 
1794 brought them to Cuba. 

Cuba, Hispaniola (Haiti), Porto Rico, 
and Jamaica (besides the Bahamas, Virgin 
Islands, the northern Leeward Islands. and 
Barbados) are entirely without poisonous 
snakes. In the swamps and river estuaries 
of Cuba there are two species of harm- 
less crocodile — C. rhombifer (peculiar to 
Cuba) and the widespread C. americanus 
{acutus). There is no alligator. 

Not one of the old Spanish towns of 
Cuba but is a source of inspiration to a 
painter. No towns in Spain are more 
'' Spanish " or more picturesque, with 
their narrow streets, projecting balconies 
screened by carved wood or iron grilles, 
tiled roofs, thick walls, patios glowing 
with sunlit vegetation, their sixteenth and 
seventeenth century cathedrals, churches, 
chapels, monasteries, and convents. The 
steeples and doorways of some of these 
churches (and of a good many Cuban 
buildings generally) almost suggest the 
Moorish influence in architecture which 
prevailed in Southern Spain down to the 
period of Columbus's voyage. Several 
of the ecclesiastical buildings still contain 
magnificent altar-pieces and shrines of 
hammered silver. 


A street in a Cuban town beautifully paved and asphalted, 
drained, yet more picturesque than before 

7 6 


In Santiago, the eastern capital of Cuba, and now one of the most beautiful 
places in the world, the solidly constructed houses (the Spaniards, among many 
great qualities, had that of building appropriately and permanently) were painted 
in tempera almost every attainable tint, combined with white copings, window- 
frames, doorways, parapets, and skirtings. One house is ultramarine-blue (and 
white), another dull mauve (and white), or pale green, maize-yellow, pink, terra- 
cotta, sky-blue, greenish blue, apricot, grey-brown. The effect, combined with 
the fronds of palm trees and bananas, the dense foliage of figs, evergreen oaks, mimosas, 
orange trees, and giant laurels, the brilliant flowers of bushes and creepers, the brown- 
red tiled roofs, the marble seats and monuments, the graceful balconies, the white 
stone colonnades, the blue waters of the harbour, and the magnificent encircling 
mountains, is daring, but eminently successful. One might undergo at Santiago de 

One of the most splendid and healthful public works executed by the Americans 

Cuba a colour cure for melancholia. But in pre-American days the streets were utterly 
neglected and the drains stank (as was also the case in all other Cuban towns). There 
was either a pavement of rough cobble-stones, with a filthy-smelling gutter on either 
side, or there was no pavement at all — merely the dust, mud, and rock of the pristine 
pathway. The city was almost impassable for carriages; rough carts groaned and 
rattled over its uneven surfaces. 

The Americans, represented by a deputy or provisional governor, changed all that. 
The steep streets were asphalted, tram lines were laid along the principal thoroughfares, 
and neat side-walks of stone or brick were constructed, while at the same time a modern 
system of drainage was created. The cool grey or white of the asphalt, stone, or 
encaustic brick is an admirable accompaniment to the riot of colour above and around ; 
the town is odourless, save for the scent of flowers, and its streets are accessible to all 
types of carriages ; while poor people can for five cents travel this way and that, across 
the town and out into the country in pretty little electric tramcars proportioned and 
painted to suit the narrow streets and gay colours of this fairytale city. 1 

1 Before quitting the subject of Cuba, I should like to acknowledge here the information and 
hospitality I received from Mr. Theodore Brooks, British Vice-Consul at Guantanamo. 




A LTHOUGH the Portuguese may have slightly forestalled the Spaniards in 

AA bringing Negroes from Africa to work in Europe, the Spaniards were the 

first to transport negroes as a labour force to America. The Portuguese 

discovered Brazil 1 in the last year of the fifteenth century, but it was not until 

1 53 1 that they began to turn their discovery to any account. 


1 It was a dye-wood which gave a permanent name to the country of Brasil. Apparently pieces of 
"Brasil-wood" (from Leguminous trees of the genera Ccesalpinia and Peltophorum) carried by the Gulf 
Stream had been washed up on the shores of Western Europe, and the deep red colour of the wood was 
thought to resemble the glow of embers, and therefore derived from some Romance dialect the name of 
Brasil. This wood was called by the Portuguese, Pao Brases, and they had no sooner discovered the 
coast of Brazil and named it " The New Land of the True Cross" than they made acquaintance with the 
forests of Citsalpinia and Peltophorum trees and sent a cargo of billets of this timber (yielding a crimson- 
scarlet dye) from Pernambuco to Lisbon as early as 1515. The wood was then called " Fernambuc "' 
(which was the old name of Pernambuco), but soon afterwards it resumed in commerce its old European 
name of "Brasil-wood," and the country which produced it in such quantities was known as . / Terra 
do Brazil. 




During the remainder of the sixteenth century they utilised the indigenous 
Amerindians almost entirely in working these territories, which were at that 
period confined to the coastal region and the shores of the great eastern 
affluents of the Rio de la Plata. Some of the earliest arrivals among the 
Portuguese adventurers mingled with the Indians in patriarchal 1 fashion, and 
their descendants, together with the well-disposed Amerindians and the fairly 
numerous Portuguese immigrants, sufficed during the first hundred years of 
Brazilian history to till the soil. 

Sugar was introduced into Eastern Brazil about 1540. 2 The oldest centre 
of continuous Portuguese colonisation, however, is Sao Paulo, in the south. 
Two European nations attempted to dispute the possession of Brazil 
with the Portuguese, in defiance of the Pope's mandate : the French (chiefly 
at first the Huguenot section of that nation) and the Dutch. The town of 
Rio de Janeiro was actually founded by French Huguenots in 1558, though 
captured by the Portuguese in 1567. But these foreign attacks on the 
rapid growth of Portuguese colonisation did not take much effect until 
Portugal and her possessions became in 1578 part of the Spanish Em- 
pire. Then the nations of North-Western Europe saw alike an oppor- 
tunity to gratify their hatred of Spain and their longing for a share of, 
or at least a foothold in, the wonderful New World, so jealously closed 
against their commerce and enterprise by the two kingdoms of the Iberian 
peninsula. The Dutch attempted to settle in Guiana — the debatable land 
between Spanish and Portuguese America — as early as 1585 ; from 161 2 the 
French and from 1624 the Dutch made determined efforts to establish 
plantation colonies in North-Eastern Brazil, and began to introduce negroes 
from West Africa to assist them ; for they were received with hostility by 

1 The story of " Caramaru," the noble Portuguese who was shipwrecked near Bahia, adopted by the 
Tupinamba Indians, elected to be their chief, and who by his numerous native wives created a whole clan 
of vigorous half-castes, is typical of the early relations between the Portuguese and the indigenes of 
Brazil : a much happier section of American history than the Spanish dealings with the Antilles and Peru. 
Great credit is, however, due to the Jesuit missionaries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who in- 
tervened most masterfully to save the native tribes of Brazil from unjust treatment at the hands of 
the incoming Europeans. 

2 According to Mons. L. E. Moreau de Saint-Mery [who in his work on Saint Domingue (1796) 
quotes Herrera], the Sugar-cane was first introduced into America by a Spaniard named Aguilon, in 1505. 
He brought it from the Canary Islands and planted it in Hispaniola. Another Spaniard, a surgeon 
named Vellosa, applied himself assiduously to the cultivation of the cane introduced by Aguilon, and by 
1530 there were at least twenty prosperous sugar-mills at work in the eastern half of Hispaniola. The 
Portuguese brought the sugar-cane from Madeira to Brazil about 1540, and thence it spread northwards to 
the Guiana settlements. From Hispaniola it was borne to Jamaica (about 1570). Its culture was pursued 
with some vigour during the greater part of the sixteenth century ; then it languished. But cacao or 
chocolate was coming into favour as a drink and confectionery getting more and more popular in Europe. 
Coffee beginning to be used in 1640 further increased the demand for sugar, so that from the year 1640, 
more or less, arose a renewed interest in cane cultivation in tropical America — the "Sugar Age" com- 
menced which was to enhance enormously the value of the West Indies, Guiana, and Brazil, and also 
increase a hundredfold the need for Negro slaves. The sugar-cane was brought from Brazil to Barbados 
in 1641, from Guiana to Martinique and Guadeloupe in 1644, the French settlements in Haiti in 1640 (?), 
and was reintroduced into Jamaica from Guiana in 1675. 

Humboldt at the close of the eighteenth century distinguished three varieties of sugar-cane in cultivation 
in tropical America : ( 1 ) the " Creole " cane, with deep green leaves, brought originally from India to Sicily 
and Spain and thence to Madeira, the Canary Islands, Hispaniola, Brazil, and Guiana; (2) the "Otaheite" 
cane with light green leaves, brought from the Pacific to Mauritius and thence to Cayenne and Martinique; 
(3) the Batavia cane with purplish-green, broad leaves, introduced from Java into Guiana by the Dutch and 
thence spread over Venezuela and the Antilles for its rum-producing qualities. Of all these varieties he 
considered the Otaheite the most valuable, as it produced more juice than the others and its refuse made 
better fuel. 

The edible Banana or plantain (Musa sapientum) was likewise introduced from the Canary Islands to - 
Hispaniola (thence to Brazil, etc.) by the Spaniards early in the sixteenth century. 




the Amerindians, who sided with the Portuguese. 1 In spite, however, of the 
opposition offered by indigenes and Portuguese settlers, the Dutch managed to 
secure a hold over the north-east coast of Brazil which lasted until 1654, and 
in 1637-41 captured from the Portuguese several footholds on the west coast 
of Africa and a portion of the colony of Angola. Their slave-trade with North- 
Eastern Brazil probably introduced the first negroes into that region. 

The Portuguese, when they replaced the Dutch in Brazil, took over such 
of their negro slaves as had not escaped 
to the bush and mingled with the wild 
Indians. They, the Portuguese, had not 
ceased to be slave-traders since they brought 
negroes from the Moorish coast and Senegal 
River to Portugal and Spain in the middle 
fifteenth century ; but hitherto they had 
chiefly purveyed them in small numbers to 
the Spanish Antilles, 2 themselves preferring 
in Brazil the labour of Amerindians or of 
Portuguese immigrants — genuine colonists. 
But after the recovery of Portuguese inde- 
pendence and the expulsion of the foreign 
settlers, the cultivation of sugar, begun by 
the French and Dutch, was taken up with 
vigour ; and Negro slaves (better suited to 
this work than Amerindians) were brought 
over in large numbers from Angola and 
the Congo, from Dahome, Lagos, and Old 

But it was not till about 1720-30 that 
the great importation of negroes into Brazil 
began. This was occasioned by the dis- 
covery of diamonds and the eagerness to 
work the gold-mines of Minas Geraes 
(South-East Brazil). 

At this time the seaboard towns of Brazil between Pernambuco on the 
north and Santos on the south became swollen with a slave population, as well 



The left-hand figure illustrates the Kongo type ; 
the right hand, the fine-featured Holo people of 
the Angola hinterland 

1 In fact the " Indians" and the Portuguese-Indian half-castes materially assisted to expel the Dutch 
from Bahia in 1625. 

2 In 1600 the Portuguese governor of Angola undertook the " Asiento" or contract for supplying 
slaves to the Spanish Indies. The adventures of Andrew Battell, given in Purchas : His Pilgrimes, pub- 
lished in 1625 (book VII. p. 983), throw a very interesting light on the early Portuguese slave-trade in 
Angola. Battell was an Essex fisherman who, seized with a love of adventure so common at the com- 
mencement of Elizabeth's reign, shipped in some British vessel making a daring voyage to the Forbidden 
New World, and got shipwrecked on the coast of Brazil somewhere about 1580. (There is a great dis- 
crepancy in dates and geographical points in Purchas's narrative, suggesting misunderstanding and 
printer's errors ; but I think Battell's story substantially true, and that he wandered in South- West Africa 
between 1589 and 1606.) Battell was rescued from the Brazilian Indians by the Portuguese, but only to 
be held a prisoner on their ships so that he might not reveal the secrets of Brazilian geography to his 
fellow-countrymen. He was taken over to Angola and eventually left as hostage among the savages, 
with whom he lived for years. At last he again reached the coast (perhaps near the Congo mouth), and 
another slaving ship enabled him to get back to England after moving adventures. He accompanied the 
Portuguese seamen in an extraordinary journey they made in the Benguela country with the Jaga (Giaga) 
marauding tribe. These dreaded "Jagas" (Jaga was the title of their leaders) were probably the modern 
Ba-jok, or Ba-kioko, now living on the Upper Kwango River. Assisted by the Portuguese, they ravaged 
the Benguela district, bringing the captives whom they did not eat to sell as slaves \n the PortUj 
ship, which ever and again would pass over to America, land her cargo of negroes, and return I'm- more. 



as the mining settlements of Minas Geraes. The majority of the people of 
Rio de Janeiro (the capital) were negroes at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, and that race is still almost predominant in the suburbs of the capital 

The Slave-trade was theoretically abolished by Portugal, north of the 
Equator, in 1815 (south of the Equator it was to continue till 1830); Brazil 
took the same measures in 1826, and declared the trade piracy in 1830. Never- 
theless, it was during the second quarter of the nineteenth century that negroes 
were most numerously imported into Brazil — as many as 1,350,000, it has been 

Len^oes district, Eastern Brazil 

computed, and this in spite of the activity of British and French cruisers. The 
British Government by the Convention of 1826 had the right of inspecting 
suspicious ships in Brazilian waters, and of condemning them if found to con- 
tain slaves fresh from Africa. But the local authorities (though not the 
Imperial Brazilian Government) winked at and even encouraged the traffic 
until after 1850. The slaves recruited for Brazil during the nineteenth century 
came almost entirely from the Lower Congo, Dahome (VVhydah, where there 
grew up quite a Brazilian colony), Lagos, Bonny, and Old Calabar. The 
Lagos slaves were of the Yoruba, Egba, Jekri, and Sobo (Benin) tribes, but also 
included people from the Central Niger and Hausaland. A few (but influential) 
negroes came from Portuguese Guinea, and were mostlv of the Mandingo or 
" Male " stock. 

Some of the Africans introduced into Brazil during the first quarter of the 


nineteenth century were of splendid physique. They are described by English 
travellers as being the most vigorous and athletic-looking persons that it is 
possible to contemplate, models for a Farnesian Hercules, with muscular frames 
hardened and improved by exercise, magnificent pictures of strength and 
activity, and as such strongly in contrast to the flabby Brazilians of Portuguese 
descent, who at that period looked the very personification of indolence and in- 
activity. The best-looking slaves at that time were said to come from the 
Gaboon and Angola, and the ugliest from Mozambique (the Portuguese seem 
even to have introduced Hottentots and Bushmen, obtained probably from the 
region south of the Kunene River). A considerable number of slaves seem 
to have come from the Upper Congo above Stanley Pool. They were classed 
as Anzico, the old Portuguese name for the Bateke people, who were the inter- 
mediaries generally in passing on the im- 
mense supply of slaves from the Upper 
Congo to the coast regions. 

Judged by the extent of time and space 
covered by their operations the Portuguese 
were perhaps the greatest of all slave-trading 
nations. But the effect of their commerce 
in negroes was not entirely evil, so far as 
Africa was concerned. It introduced to the 
innermost parts of the Congo basin, as 
well as through almost all West Africa from 
Mossamedes on the south to the Senegal on 
the north, much wealth in brass and silver, 
guns and gunpowder [with which the natives 
could successfully overcome the ravages of 
wild beasts and procure supplies of ivory 
for their own enrichment], large supplies of 
distilled spirit? [harmful, indeed, but provoca- 
tive of energy], many industries and arts in 
weaving cloth, carving ivory, casting and 
working metals. The bronze art of Benin is 
almost entirely due to the inspiration of the 

Portuguese (who visited that country mainly for the trade in slaves), also the 
designing of pottery (especially in the southern basin of the Congo), and many 
other ?.rts and industries which have distinctly raised the level of the Western 
negro's culture. Then as regards food-stuffs, the Portuguese slave-trade has in- 
deed enriched negro Africa. The Portuguese slave-traders brought with them to 
the west coast (as also to the east) the sugar-cane, sweet potato, onion, tobacco 
plant, maize, pineapples, tomatoes, Chili peppers, guavas, wheat, rice, manioc, 
the domestic pig, the Muscovy duck, and European cattle. These introductions 
were repeatedly made with the deliberate object of arresting famines such as in 
the historical period have devastated Africa to a degree scarcely realised by 
European historians, whole tribes disappearing every now and then when 
a failure of the rains, a blight, or a disease has killed their indigenous food 
crops or driven away the wild game. Undoubtedly the influence of the Portu- 
guese — attracted to Africa mainly as a source of labour supply for Portuguese 
America — wrought some surprising movements all along the coast regions 
of West Africa and in the southern basin of the Congo, by which organised 
kingdoms arose which created or stimulated commerce, and which in their 


negro type from upper congo 

8 4 


general effects on the people were perhaps less drearily horrible than the 
anarchy of cannibal savages. 

In the dim recesses of the Congo basin, naked savages began to realise that 
there was a world outside their encircling ring of gorilla-haunted forests, a world 
which would barter for war-captives or social derelicts beads, brass, iron wire, 
guns, gunpowder, bells, scarlet cloth, and rum. Hitherto they had made 
war for gluttony, to obtain victims for their cannibal feasts ; now they started 
forth in their war-canoes to raid for slaves which might be bartered for trade 
goods with the intermediary tribes at Stanley Pool or on the River Kwango. 

The wars between one native tribe and another, which were carried on for 
the ultimate purpose of supplying slaves for America, had existed previously 

(though not on such a large scale). 
Eunuchs, concubines, and servants 
were required for the Moslems (the 
Eastern Slave-trade) and victims for 
the human sacrifices and cannibal 
feasts of bloody West Africa (Ashanti, 
Dahome, Benin, and the Lower Niger, 
Western Congoland, and the empire 
of the Mwata Yanvo ; Liberia of 
olden times, the Ivory Coast, Southern 
Nigeria, the Cameroons, and the inner 
basin of the Congo). So far as the 
sum of human misery in Africa was 
concerned, it is probable that the 
trade in slaves between that conti- 
nent and America scarcely added to 
it. It even to some extent mitigated 
the suffering of the negro in his own 
home ; for once this trade was set on 
foot and it was profitdble to sell a 
human being, many a man, woman, 
or child who might otherwise have 
been killed for mere capn'ce, or for 
the love of seeing blood flow, or as 
a toothsome ingredient of a banquet, 
was sold to a slave-trader. Ciiminals 
who would have been executed for serious or for trivial offences were spared 
for the same purpose. 

But it was in the sea transit to America under conditions several t ; mes 
referred to in this book, and in the after treatment of the slave when he or she 
reached the New World, that the unpardonable cruelty occurred. 

Portugal (after preliminary restrictions in 1 815 and 1823) abolished the 
Slave-trade in Portuguese African possessions from 1830 onwards, and received 
as a solatium a sum of ^300,000 from Great Britain. In 1836 it was forbidden 
to export a slave anywhere from a Portuguese colony. But the actual states 
of Slavery was not abolished in Portuguese Africa until 1878. As a matter of 
fact, the export of slaves from Portuguese East Africa did not really come to 
an end until the Federal power got the upper hand of the Confederate South 
in the United States in 1863 ; and from Portuguese Guinea, Dahome, and 
Angola, until Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Even after that date a modified 


Probably from Lagos, West Africa 


form of slave-trade has continued in the Angolan interior to supply the cacao 
plantations of Sao Thome. 

The first Emperor of Brazil as early as 1814 drew up regulations to 
alleviate the sufferings of the negroes in their passage from the coast of Africa, 
by enforcing far more commodious space for them and better provisions on the 
slave-ships ; but it is to be feared that later on in the nineteenth century these 
regulations were but little observed, after the commerce had become contra- 
band, for here is a description of a Brazilian slave-ship seen in the year 1829 by 
the Rev. R. Walsh {Notices of Brazil 
in 1828 and 1829, London, 1S30). 1 

" The first object that struck us was 
an enormous gun, turning on a swivel, on 
deck, the constant appendage of a pirate ; 
and the next were large kettles for cook- 
ing, on the bows, the usual apparatus of 
a slaver. Our boat was now hoisted out, 
and I went on board with the officers. 
When we mounted her decks, we found 
her full of slaves. She was called the 
Veloz, commanded by Captain Jose Bar- 
bosa, bound to Bahia. She was a very 
broad-decked ship, with a mainmast, 
schooner-rigged, and behind her foremast 
was that large formidable gun, which 
turned on a broad circle of iron on deck, 
and which enabled her to act as a pirate, 
if her slaving speculation had failed. She 
had taken in, on the coast of Africa, 336 
males and 226 females, making in all 
562, and had been out seventeen days, 
during which she had thrown overboard 
fifty-five. The slaves were all enclosed 
under grated hatchways, between-decks. 
The space was so low that they sat be- 
tween each other's legs, and stowed so 
close together that there was no possi- 
bility of their lying down, or at all chang- 
ing their position, by night or day. As 
they belonged to and were shipped on 
account of different individuals, they were 
all branded, like sheep, with the owners' marks of different forms. . . . These were 
impressed under their breasts, or on their arms, and, as the mate informed me, with 
perfect indifference, ' queimados pelo ferro quento ' — burnt with a red-hot iron. Over 
the hatchway stood a ferocious-looking fellow, with a scourge of many twisted thongs 
in his hand, who was the slave-driver of the ship. Whenever he heard the slightest 
noise below, he shook the whip over them, and seemed eager to exercise it. I was quite 




1 The Rev. R. Walsh, ll.d. , whose A T otices of Brazil is a classic, was a man quite remarkable for 
his scholarship and breadth of view. He accompanied the British Minister to Brazil as chaplain and 
tutor to his family. Walsh was on board a King's ship at the time ; and as the slaves came mainly from 
Dahome the captain of the man-of-war wished to arrest the slaver and set the slaves free at Sierra Leone. 
Unfortunately the Portuguese captain of the ship showed that he had come last from Kabinda, south of 
the line, a region not yet excluded from a permissible sphere of slave-trading of the Anglo-Portuguese 
Convention : so the poor wretches passed on to their doom. 



pleased to take this hateful badge out of his hand, and I have kept it ever since, as a 
horrid memorial of reality, should I ever be disposed to forget the scene I witnessed. 

"As soon as the poor creatures saw us looking down at them, their dark and melan- 
choly visages brightened up. They perceived something of sympathy and kindness in 
our looks, which they had not been accustomed to, and, feeling instinctively that we 
were friends, they immediately began to shout and clap their hands. One or two had 
picked up a few Portuguese words and cried out, ' Viva ! viva ! ' The women were 
particularly excited. They all held up their arms, and when we bent down and shook 
hands with them they could not contain their delight ; they endeavoured to scramble 
upon their knees, stretching up to kiss our hands, and we understood that they knew 
we were come to liberate them. Some, however, hung down their heads in apparently 

hopeless dejection ; some were greatly 
emaciated, and some, particularly chil- 
dren, seemed dying. 

" But the circumstance which struck 
us most forcibly was, how it was possible 
for such a number of human beings to 
exist, packed up and wedged together as 
tight as they could cram, in low cells, 
3 feet high, the greater part of which, 
except that immediately under the grated 
hatchways, was shut out from light or 
air, and this when the thermometer, ex- 
posed to the open sky, was standing in 
the shade, on our deck, at 89 degrees. 
The space between-decks was divided 
into two compartments 3 feet 3 inches 
high; the size of one was 16 by 18 feet, 
and of the other 40 by 2 1 feet ; into the 
first were crammed the women and girls ; 
into the second, the men and boys : 226 
fellow-creatures were thus thrust into one 
space 288 feet square ; and 336 into an- 
other space 800 feet square, giving to the 
whole an average of 23 inches, and to each 
of the women not more than 13 inches, 
though many of them were pregnant. We 
also found manacles and fetters of differ- 
ent kinds, but it appears that they had 
all been taken off before we boarded. 
" The heat of these horrid places was so great, and the odour so offensive, that it was 
quite impossible to enter them, even had there been room. They were measured as 
above when the slaves had left them. The officers insisted that the poor suffering 
creatures should be admitted on deck to get air and water. This was opposed by the 
mate of the slaver, who, from a feeling that they deserved it, declared they would 
murder them all. The officers, however, persisted, and the poor beings were all turned 
up together. It is impossible to conceive the effect of this eruption— 517 fellow- 
creatures of all ages and sexes, some children, some adults, some old men and women, 
all in a state of total nudity, scrambling out together to taste the luxury of a little fresh 
air and water. They came swarming up, like bees from the aperture of a hive, till the 
whole deck was crowded to suffocation, from stem to stern ; so that it was impossible to 
imagine where they could all have come from, or how they could have been stowed 
away. On looking into the places where they had been crammed, there were found 
some children next the sides of the ship, in the places most remote from light and air ; 
they were lying nearly in a torpid state, after the rest had turned out. The little 



creatures seemed indifferent as to life or death, and when they were carried on deck, 
many of them could not stand. 

" After enjoying for a short time the unusual luxury of air, some water was brought; it 
was then that the extent of their sufferings was exposed in a fearful manner. They all 
rushed like maniacs towards it. No entreaties, or threats, or blows, could restrain them ; 
they shrieked, and struggled, and fought with one another, for a drop of this precious 
liquid, as if they grew rabid at the sight of it." 

Out of this slaving ship during the first seventeen days of their voyage 
fifty-five slaves, dying or dead from dysentery, had been thrown overboard. 
Though there was a large stock of medicines displayed in the cabin with a 
manuscript book containing directions how they should be used, the so-called 
doctor on board was a negro who was unable to read ! On many of these slave- 
ships the sense of misery and suffocation was so terrible in the 'tween-decks — 
where the height sometimes was only eighteen inches, so that the unfortunate 
slaves could not turn round, were wedged immovably, in fact, and chained to 
the deck by the neck and legs — that the slaves not infrequently would go mad 
before dying of suffocation. In their frenzy some killed others in the hopes of 
procuring more room to breathe. " Men strangled those next to them, and 
women drove nails into each other's brains." 1 

As long as the slave-trade was recognised in Brazil the Imperial Govern- 
ment derived from it a revenue of about one million sterling per annum, the 
town of Rio de Janeiro alone producing ,£240,000 per annum. For every slave 
landed in Brazil there was levied about £8 in duties, imperial or municipal. 
When the slave-trade was ostensibly abolished in 1830, this revenue was 

When a cargo of slaves arrived in Brazil it was usually purchased by a class 
of people called " ciganos " or gipsies, and who seem to have been actually of 
gipsy origin, with dark olive complexions, black eyes and hair, and a rather 
sinister expression of countenance. It is supposed that they descend from the 
gipsies who were expelled from Portugal in the seventeenth century and 
despatched to Brazil. Dr. Walsh gives the following description of a cigano 
slave-driver : — 

He was a tall, cadaverous, tawny man, with a shock of black hair hanging about his 
sharp but determined-looking visage. He was dressed in a blue jacket and pantaloons, 
with buff boots hanging loose about his legs, ornamented with large silver spurs. On his 
head he wore a capacious straw hat, bound with a broad ribbon, and in his hand was a 
long whip, with two thongs ; he shook this over his drove, and they all arranged them- 
selves for examination, some of them, particularly the children, trembling like aspen 

1 What the survivors may have looked like when they were landed at their destined port, Bahia, may 
be surmised from this description of Captain Stedman's (written in 1798) : — 

"They were a drove of newly imported negroes, men and women, with a few children, who were 
just landed from on board a Guinea ship, to be sold as slaves. The whole party was such a set of 
scarcely animated automatons, such a resurrection of skin and bones as forcibly reminded me of the last 
trumpet. These objects appeared at that moment to be risen from the grave or escaped from Surgeons' 
Hall ; and I confess I can give no better description of them than by comparing them to walking 
skeletons covered over with a piece of tanned leather." (From J. G. Stedman's Surinam ) These 
words, though applying to Guiana, north of Brazil, and to an earlier date than 1829, almost exactly 
summarise the scattered references to the condition of recently landed slaves at Brazilian ports in the 
works of English and German authors between 1820 and 1848. Much the same description is given by 
Bryan Edwards of slaves just landed in Jamaica. But the recuperative power of the Negro is extra- 
ordinary, and after ten days' or a fortnight's good feeding many of these physical wrecks were in prime 
condition for the slave-market. 


At the sales of slaves conducted by the ciganos in huge warehouses usually- 
near the sea-shore, the negroes and negresses were exposed for sale, nude or nearly 
nude. They were handled by intending purchasers — Brazilian men or women 
— without the slightest regard for decency or delicacy, exactly as though they 
were animals being purchased for their physical qualities. According to the 
Rev. R. Walsh, it was quite a fashionable thing for white Brazilian ladies in the 
•early part of the nineteenth century to go shopping for slaves just as an English- 
woman might visit Bond Street. The elder slaves were usually allowed to sit 
qn benches while the young ones squatted on the floor. 

I was particularly attracted by a group of children, one of whom, a young girl, had 
something very pensive and engaging in her countenance. The ciganos observing me 
look at her, whipped her up with a long rod, and bade her with a rough voice to come 
forward. It was quite affecting to see the poor, timid, shrinking child standing before 
me, in a state the most helpless and forlorn, that ever a being, endued, like myself, with 
a reasonable mind and an immortal soul, could be reduced to. Some of these girls have 
remarkably sweet and engaging countenances. Notwithstanding their dusky hue, they 
look so modest, gentle, and sensible, that you could not for a moment hesitate to 
acknowledge that they are endowed with a like feeling and a common nature with your 
•own daughters. The seller was about to put the child into all the attitudes, and display 
her person in the same way, as he would a man ; but I declined the exhibition, and she 
shrunk timidly back to her place, and seemed glad to hide herself in the group that 
surrounded her. 

The men were generally less interesting objects than the women ; their counten- 
ances and hues were very varied, according to the part of the African coast from which 
they came ; some were soot-black, having a certain ferocity of aspect that indicated 
strong and fierce passions, like men who were darkly brooding over some deep-felt 
wrongs and meditating revenge. When any one was ordered, he came forward with a 
sullen indifference, threw his arms over his head, stamped with his feet, shouted to show 
the soundness of his lungs, ran up and down the room, and was treated exactly like a 
horse, put through his paces at a repository ; and when done, he was whipped to 
his stall. 

The heads of the slaves, both male and female, were generally half shaved ; the hair 
being left only on the fore part. A few of the females had cotton handkerchiefs tied 
round their heads, which, with some little ornaments of native seeds or shells, gave them 
a very engaging appearance. A number, particularly the males, were affected with 
eruptions of a white scurf, which had a loathsome appearance, like a leprosy. It was 
considered, however, a wholesome effort of nature, to throw off the effects of the salt 
provisions used during the voyage ; and, in fact, it resembles a saline concretion. 

Many of them were lying stretched on the bare boards ; and among the rest, 
mothers with young children at their breasts, of which they seemed passionately fond. 
They were all doomed to remain on the spot, like sheep in a pen, till they were sold ; 
they had no apartment to retire to, no bed to repose on, no cover to protect them ; they 
sit naked all day, and lie naked all night, on the bare boards, or benches, where we saw 
them exhibited. 

A sale of slaves at a country village is thus described by Walsh (writing in 
1828). The cigano driver has gone round arousing buyers and inviting them to 
the market outside the village inn. 

The slaves, both men and women, were walked about, and put into different paces, 
then handled and felt exactly as I have seen butchers feel a calf. He occasionally lashed 
them and made them jump to show that their limbs were supple, and caused them 
to shriek and cry, that the purchasers might perceive their lungs were sound. 

Among the company at the market was a Brazilian lady, who exhibited a regular 


model of her class in the country. She had on a round felt hat like an Englishman's, 
and under it a turban, which covered her head as a night-cap. Though it was a burning 
day, she was wrapped up in a large scarlet woollen cloak, which, however, she drew 
up so high as to show us her embroidered shoes and silk stockings ; she was attended by 
a black slave, who held an umbrella over her head, and she walked for a considerable 
time deliberately through the slaves, looking as if she was proudly contrasting her own 
importance with their misery. 

These are Dr. Walsh's first impressions of the Negro in Brazil : — 

I had been but a few hours on shore, for the first time, and I saw an African negro 
under four aspects of society ; and it appeared to me that in every one his character 
depended on the state in which he was placed and the estimation in which he was held. 
As a despised slave, he was far lower than other animals of burthen that surrounded 
him, more miserable in his look, more revolting in his nakedness, more distorted in his 
person, and apparently more deficient in intellect than the horses and mules that passed 
him by. Advanced to the grade of a soldier, he was clean and neat in his person, 
amenable to discipline, expert at his exercises, and showed the port and being of a white 
man similarly placed. As a citizen, he was remarkable for the respectability of his 
appearance and the decorum of his manners in the rank assigned to him ; and as a 
priest, standing in the house of God, appointed to instruct society on their most 
important interests, and in a grade in which moral and intellectual fitness is required, and 
a certain degree of superiority is expected, he seemed even more devout in his orations 
and more correct in his manners than his white associates. I came, therefore, to the 
irresistible conclusion in my mind that colour was an accident affecting the surface 
of a man, and having no more to do with his qualities than his clothes, that God had 
equally created an African in the image of His person, and equally given him an 
immortal soul, and that an European had no pretext but his own cupidity for impiously 
thrusting his fellow-man from that rank in the creation which the Almighty had assigned 
him, and degrading him below the lot of the brute beasts that perish. 

As regards their general treatment of the negro slave, male or female, the 
Portuguese and Brazilians by no means occupy a bad position in the scale 
of international morality. On the contrary, they rival the Spaniards for the 
first place in the list of humane slave-holding nations, and even in Africa their 
treatment of their slaves (or slave-like apprentices of more recent date) was far 
less cruel than that of the Dutch, the British, or the French. Slavery under the 
flag of Portugal (or Brazil) or of Spain was not a condition without hope, a life 
in hell, as it was for the most part in the British West Indies and, above 
all, Dutch Guiana and the Southern United States. 

Towards the close of the eighteenth century an official Protector of slaves 
was instituted in most of the great centres of slave labour in Brazil to intervene 
between bad masters and ill-treated slaves. But the most substantial hope 
of all for the Brazilian slave, as for the Spanish (prior to the nineteenth 
century), was that at any time he could purchase his own freedom. At all times, 
from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, the slave in Brazil could compel 
his master by law to liberate him if he or she could repay to the purchaser the 
sum of the original purchase price. And in Brazil a slave (male or female) who 
was the parent of ten children could demand his or her freedom. 

As to the means of getting money for this purpose, the law obliged a slave- 
owner or overseer to give liberty to his slaves on all public and ecclesiatical 
holidays, together with all Sundays. This meant, including Sunday's, eighty- 
five days out of the year of 365. On such days the slave was not forbidden to 
work (as he was by characteristic Anglo-Saxon hypocrisy in British and British- 


American slavedom), but might hire his labour to whom he chose, or go 
hunting, fishing, and money-making on his own account. When the slave had 
by great industry amassed sufficient milreis, he would not only purchase his own 
freedom, but next set up as a slave-owner on his own account ! Slaves who 
had grown wealthy and had succeeded in freeing themselves would often invest 
their further savings in the slave-trade and send money to West Africa to 
purchase slaves to be forwarded to them in Brazil, or even, if they were very rich, 
send funds, arms, and trade-goods to African connections of potency, and by 
these means get up raids in their old homes or amongst neighbouring tribes to 
supply the Brazilian slave-market ; for the Negro is scarcely yet altruistic. At 
no time until quite recently was he particularly shocked at the slave-trade and 
slavery as it affected other people. He might be broken-hearted on his own 
account, or on that of his wife, mother, brother, sister, or child, but cared 
not the least about the abstract right or wrong in this traffic or the sufferings 
of other negroes not related to him. 

Of course this indifference on his part was no excuse for the better-educated 
white man, any more than because a person might have a depraved taste for 
spirits it would palliate his being urged by example to dipsomania. 

Various writers on Brazil between 1820 and 1850 relate instances of 
Portuguese masters or mistresses whipping their slaves to death. But these 
cases seem to have been rare, and the facility with which negroes could escape 
into the woods and live with the aborigines or by themselves (subsisting on wild 
produce) must have restrained slave-owners from driving their slaves to 

When a slave ran away and was recaptured, or returned of his or her own 
accord, it was usual to invoke the intercession of some local personage of rank 
or standing, who became the padrinho or sponsor of the slave, and usually 
intervened to prevent excessive punishment. 

Flogging with a whip or lithe cane was not so common a punishment in 
Brazil as in the other slave-holding countries. And in most cases where 
" flogging" is alluded to by English writers the use of the palmatorio is really 
meant. This is a curious-looking instrument, like a battledore in shape, or 
a large lemon-squeezer with a long handle. Its oval, thick, flat " business " end 
is pierced with round holes. The palms of the hands (or the soles of the feet) 
are slapped with the palmatorio and the suffering to the hands is said to be 
frightful. That may be so ; but apparently the power of using the hands is 
soon recovered and the body of the slave remains uninjured and unscarred. 

The Jesuits, before they were expelled from Brazil (and expelled for being 
so very solicitous about the treatment of the Amerindian aborigines and the 
negro), did much to raise the condition of their black wards, especially in 
religion. In Brazil the Roman Catholic Church (as in Haiti, only more so) 
showed a rarely modern attitude towards the negro. Even as early as the 
eighteenth century there were not only black clergy, but even black bishops. 
And in Brazil the negro clergy seem from the end of the eighteenth century 
onwards to have been more reverent, better living, more earnest than the 
Portuguese clergy, and it is a question whether this distinction does not still 

Louis Agassiz wrote about 1865 : — 

The other day, in the neighbourhood of Rio, I had an opportunity of seeing a mar- 
riage between two negroes, whose owner made the religious, or, as it appeared to me on 
this occasion, irreligious ceremony, obligatory. The bride, who was as black as jet, was 


dressed in white muslin, with a veil of coarse white lace, such as the negro women make 
themselves, and the husband was in a white linen suit. She looked, and I think she 
really felt, diffident, for there were a good many strangers present, and her position was 
embarrassing. The Portuguese priest, a bold, insolent-looking man, called them up and 
rattled over the marriage service with most irreverent speed, stopping now and then to 
scold them both, but especially the woman, because she did not speak loud enough and 
did not take the whole thing in the same coarse, rough way that he did. When he 
ordered them to come up and kneel at the altar his tone was more suggestive of cursing 
than praying, and having uttered his blessing he hurled an amen at them, slammed the 
prayer-book down on the altar, whiffed out the candles, and turned bride and bride- 


groom out of the chapel with as little ceremony as one would have kicked out a dog. 
As the bride came out, half crying, half smiling, her mother met her and showered her 
with rose-leaves, and so this act of consecration, in which the mother's benediction 
seemed the only grace, was over. I thought what a strange confusion there must be in 
these poor creatures' minds if they thought about it at all. They are told that the rela- 
tion between man and wife is a sin, unless confirmed by the sacred rite of marriage ; 
they come to hear a bad man gabble over them words which they cannot understand, 
mingled with taunts and abuse which they understand only too well, and side by side 
with their own children grow up the little fair-skinned slaves to tell them practically that 
the white man does not keep himself the law he imposes on them. What a monstrous 
lie the whole system mustseem to them, if they are ever led to think about it at all. 

" The funeral service was chanted by a choir of priests, one of whom was 
a negro, a large, comely man, whose jet-black visage formed a strong and 


striking contrast to his white vestments. He seemed to perform his part with 
a decorum and sense of solemnity which I did not observe in his brethren." 
(Dr. Walsh, 1828.) 

Brazilian negroes are usually very religious, and with the exception of those 
(mostly Mandingoes) who still profess Muhammadanism, are the willing 
adherents of the Roman Catholic Church. And there is no doubt that this 
Church exercises a wholesome discipline over th^ir lives. The pity of it is that 
the Roman Church is — with some notable exceptions — so badly served still in 
Brazil by careless, brutal, and licentious Portuguese priests. 

The existence of slavery warped the minds and morals of the white people 
inhabiting Brazil. The knowledge that you could do almost anything you liked 
towards your slave, male or female, and the laxity o r public opinion with 
regard to sexual morality induced a state of affairs to pi=;vail during the first 
seventy years of the nineteenth century which has been referred to in no 
measured terms by certain bishops of the Roman Church o," European origin, 
and by (Sir) Richard Burton 1 and numerous British and German travellers, to 
whose works the reader who is curious in human depravity is referred. 

Here is a printable instance, taken from the volume of ti*e Revs. J. C. 
Fletcher and D. P. Kidder. 2 

These writers, reviewing the morals of slavery, refer to the case of an 
Englishman settled in Brazil, who purposely had as many children as he could 
by slave women because he found that his children were generally p r etty, even 
with " light, curling hair, blue eyes, and a skin as light as that of a European," 
and he was consequently able to sell them at a good price when they were old 
enough to leave their mothers. 

This description of a Luso-Brazilian patriarch and his incestuous slave 
family may be thought incredible ; but those who like myself visited Mossamedes 
in Southern Angola in the " eighties " of the last century will be able to -ecall 
a precisely similar instance in the household of a retired medical man who 
resided in the vicinity of that pleasant city. 

"My host was a white Brazilian, more pleasing in his aspect and manrers 
than most others I had met with. He showed me into a comfortable quarto, 
newly plastered with white clay, with beds and mats of green bamboo, which 
were fresh and fragrant, and formed a strong contrast with the mouldering filth 
I had left. When supper was ready, he took me kindly and courteously by tht 
hand, to an apartment where it was laid out on a clean cloth, and well and 
neatly dressed ; a stewed fowl with pdo de trigo (wheaten bread), accompanied 
by green vegetables — a species of Brassica which he cultivated. 

" When I had finished, he invited me to his porch, where he brought me 
some excellent coffee, and set a mulatto of his establishment on an opposite 
bench, to play on the guitar for my amusement. He then called forth and 
introduced me to his whole family. This consisted of two mothers, a black 
and a white, and twelve children, of all sizes, sexes, and colours ; some with 
woolly hair and dusky faces, some with sallow skins and long black tresses. 
In a short time they made up a ball, and began to dance. It was opened by 
the youngest, Luzia, a child about four years old, with dark eyes and coal- 
black hair. She was presently joined by a little black sister, and they com- 

1 Burton was consul between 1865 and 1869 at Santos, and wrote an admirable description of Eastern 
Brazil in his Highlands of Brazil. 

2 Brazil and the Brazilians, by the Rev. James C. Fletcher and Rev. Dr. D. P. Kidder, who 
travelled in Brazil at different times between 1857 and 1866. 


menced with a movement resembling a Spanish bolero, imitating admirably 
well the castanets with their fingers and thumbs. The movement of the dance 
was not very delicate ; and the children, when they began, showed a certain 
timidity and innate consciousness that they were exhibiting before a stranger 
what was not proper ; but by degrees they were joined in succession by all the 
children, boys and girls, up to the age of seventeen and eighteen, and finally by 
the two mothers of the progeny. I never saw such a scene. It was realising 
what I had heard of the state of families in the midst of woods, shut out from 
intercourse with all other society, and forming promiscuous connexions with 
one another, as if they were in an early age of the world, and had no other 
human beings to attach themselves to. I had personally known some, and I 
had heard of others, brothers and sisters, who without scruple or sense of 
shame lived together, supporting in other respects the decencies of life ; but 
here it was carried beyond what I could have supposed possible, and this pre- 
cocious family displayed among themselves dances resembling what we have 
heard of the Otaheitan Timordee." (Dr. Walsh.) 

The dances to which negro slaves were trained were not always of the 
blameless quality described by Mad Margaret in Ruddigore. They usually 
began with a slow movement of two persons, who approached each other with 
a shy and diffident air, and then receded bashful and embarrassed. By degrees, 
the time of the music increased, the diffidence wore off, and the dance concluded 
with " indecencies not fit to be seen nor described." Sometimes it was of 
a different character, attended by jumping, shouting, and throwing their arms 
over each other's heads, and assuming the most fierce and stern aspects. The 
indecent display was a "dance of love," but the shouting dance was a mimicry 
of war. 

Dancing in Brazil, as elsewhere in America, was the great passion of the 
negro, and the one consolation which made his slavery tolerable. Whenever 
a group of them met in the street or on a country road, or at the door of an inn 
or wineshop, they got up a dance ; and if there was no instrument in the company, 
which rarely happened, they supplied its place with singing. On all the estates 
where there was a number of slaves, Saturday night would be usually devoted to 
a ball. A fire of wood or maize cobs would be lighted up in the biggest 
shed, and the slaves would continue dancing till daylight. 

Walsh, Fletcher and Kidder, H. W. Bates, 1 Burton and other writers on 
nineteenth-century Brazil all give instances of the good behaviour of slaves 
living under favourable conditions. Here is a typical case quoted by Walsh : — 

" I now found that she was the widow of a gentleman, who had been 
proprietor of the estate all round. He had died a few years before, leaving her 
with two little girls, her daughters, and twenty-four slaves, fourteen males and 
ten females. The former were located in huts up the sides of the hills, and the 
latter lodged with her in her house. With this large family of slaves, she lived 
alone in the mountains, having no white persons but her little children, within 
several leagues of her. Yet such was the moral ascendency she had acquired, 
that her whole establishment moved with perfect regularity, and cultivated an 
estate of several square miles." 

Slaves, negro and mulatto, were often trusted by their masters with large 
sums of money or supplies of trade goods and sent away to trade in rubber or 
other produce. They very seldom betrayed their trust. 

1 The Naturalist on the Amazons, by H. W. Bates. A fascinating study of Man and Nature in 
Northern Brazil. 



Nevertheless, the relatively beneficent laws regulating slavery in Brazil 
during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were frequently evaded by slave- 
owners, and slaves ran away to the woods to escape ill-treatment, or to obtain 
remission from incessant hard work. Whenever they were recaptured they were 
flogged, and in addition an iron collar was firmly riveted round their necks. 
From this collar a long bar projected at right angles, which terminated either in 
a cross or in a broad twisted curve. The bar was intended to impede them 
if they took to flight again, as it would soon become entangled in the bush. 
Slaves thus decorated were very common objects in all the Brazilian towns in 
the early part of the nineteenth century. British and German travellers also 
note the frequency of suicide amongst the Brazilian slaves before Emancipation 

Adult negroes in Brazil seldom became reconciled to slavery, especially if 
they had been born in Brazil, and consequently born to unending servitude. 
If they could not secure their freedom in one way or another, they frequently 

committed suicide : usually when a master 
before death had promised manumission and 
had forgotten to state his intentions in a will 
44to^ properly executed. 

During the first quarter of the nineteenth 
century there grew up a considerable aggre- 
gation of Muhammadan negroes in the Bra- 
zilian towns of Pernambuco, Bahia, and Rio 
de Janeiro. These people called themselves 
Musulmi (Moslems), but the non-Muham- 
madan negroes styled them Male, and under 
that name they are recorded in the history 
of Brazil. 

Male, or Mali, is an interesting name 
& I'll which throws some light on the origin, at any 

jS, A^ I *iW| rate, of the leading spirits of the Muham- 

madan confraternities throughout Brazil. It 
is obviously the race name of the Man- 
dingo peoples of Senegambia. We know 
that through Portuguese Guinea many Man- 
dingo and even Fula slaves were brought 
to Brazil, and owing to their superior type of physique and character were 
generally notable people. But the Abbe Ignace Etienne, 1 who has written two 
interesting articles on this subject, ascribes the Muhammadan negroes of Brazil 
for the most part to the Yoruba (Nago), Hausa, and Bornu (?) peoples of the 
Lagos hinterland, and also alludes to the Gege, Gruma (? Gurma), Kabinda, 
Barba, Mina, Calabar, Ijebu, Mondubi, and Benin, as Muhammadans. The 
Barba people of Borgu, and the tribes of Bornu, are certainly more or less 
Muhammadans, but the others mentioned (as far as they can be identified) 
are pagans in their home of origin, and can only have become Muham- 
madans by contact with these influential Yoruba and Hausa people since their 
arrival in Brazil. I cannot help thinking that the Abbe Ignace Etienne, and 
other writers on the subject, have overlooked the important Mandingo element 
in the slaves of Brazil. Mr. Consul O'Sullivan Beare in a letter to the writer 

1 La Secte Musulmane des Males dit Bresil, et leur rk'olte e?i i£jj ; in Anthropos for January-March, 

80. A FULA 

Of the type trading between Scarcies River, 
West Africa, and Brazil 


of this book mentions the interesting fact that Fula people of the Gambari 1 
tribe or district come backwards and forwards now to Bahia to trade. From 
allusions in the works of earlier writers, it would seem as though in the early 
nineteenth century Fula or Mandingo slaves who had obtained their freedom 
had opened up a considerable commerce between Portuguese Guinea and 
Brazil, just as other Brazilian negroes did between Brazil, Lagos, and Dahome. 

At the present day the Musulmi of Bahia speak a dialect of Yoruba (the 
Nago) ; formerly (says the Abbe Ignace Etienne) they could read and write 
Arabic. To-day their priests and holy men (Alufa) no longer understand the 
Arabic of the Koran and use a Portuguese translation. 

As early as 1694 the negroes working in the palm forests of Pernambuco 
coalesced into a tribe of revolted slaves which for a long time resisted any 
attempts at subjugation by the Portuguese. In 1719 the negroes of the Minas 
Geraes province had made a far-reaching conspiracy to massacre all the whites 
on Holy Thursday,, but like so many of these negro plots it failed of effect 
through premature revelations, and the bulk of the negroes to avoid punishment 


escaped into the forests, where they lived with the Indians (whom they had 
joined in a revolt seven years previously). In 1828, at Bahia, more than a 
thousand negroes had risen against the yoke of slavery, but they were van- 
quished by Brazilian soldiers at the Piraja River. Another attempt at a rising 
was made at Bahia on the 10th April, 1830, but also was suppressed without 
difficulty by the authorities; but for six years, between 1831 and 1837, the 
negroes all over Brazil were simmering in insurrection. The Imperial Govern- 
ment of the country was disorganised owing to the abdication of Don Pedro I 
and the long minority of his son which followed. There were attempts at 
revolution amongst the whites, so it is hardly surprising that the blacks, having 
far more serious grievances, were ready to strike for independence, between 
Maranhao on the north and Santos (Sao Paulo district) on the south. 

But the Male insurrection which broke out on the night of January 14th, 
1835, at Bahia, had a distinctly religious as well as a racial character: it was 
mainly confined to the Muhammadan negroes, who were determined if success- 
ful to found a Muhammadan state in the north-east of Brazil, which was to be 
under a negress queen. A good number of the insurgents were not even slaves, 

1 From the Great Scarcies River (Western Sierra Leone). Gambare or Kambart yaji is the Fula name 
for the Great Scarcies River (F. W. H. Migeod). 

9 6 


but free men and wealthy. The total number of Muhammadans or " Males " 
was probably not more than 1500, but they believed they had obtained the 
adhesion of large numbers of pagan or Christian negro slaves who were 
disgusted with their condition of servitude. As usual, however, warnings and 
denunciations had reached the police officers, and to a certain extent Bahia was 
not taken by surprise. In spite of furious fighting, the Males were vanquished 
and took to flight. Large numbers of prisoners were taken. Some were shot, 
others were flogged ("two hundred, five hundred, and even one thousand 
strokes." which could not have left many of them living !) others were sent to 


convict establishments, and a few were deported to Africa. The Abbe Ignace 
Etienne is of opinion that if the movement had been more ably directed by its 
promoters, and had been better armed, it might, with the furious, reckless 
courage displayed by the insurgent negroes, have overwhelmed the Portuguese 
and have actually succeeded in establishing — at any rate for a time — a Muham- 
madan negro government in the province of Bahia. 

Negro slaves were apparently introduced into the State of Matto Grosso 1 at 
the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the mineral wealth of this region 
began to be first exploited and when the intervention of the Jesuits had checked 

1 In the south-centre of Brazil, on the rising ground of the southern basin of the Amazon. 


the enslavement of Amerindians. In 17 18 the capital of the State of Cuyaba 
was founded by Pascoal Moreira Cabral de Leme. From that date the impor- 
tation of negroes grew considerably, and it was entirely due to their labour 
that the mines received such development. The negroes were, of course, 
brought from the Sao Paulo district. Apart from those that were regularly 
introduced, many of the runaway negroes from the regions nearer the coast 




An opponent of slavery in Brazil, who as premier of the Brazilian ministry 
in 1871 carried through a partial emancipation and improved the position 
of the remaining slaves 

made for Matto Grosso and existed alongside the slaves as a free population 
giving its labour for wages. 

By 1872 the free negroes largely outnumbered the slaves. In the first half 
of the nineteenth century negroes and negroids were twice as numerous as the 
whites, and the Amerindian population had shrunk to very small proportions. 
At the present day there are about fifty thousand negroes and negroids in this 
important State. Here, as elsewhere in Brazil, there was no great shock or 
interruption to industry caused by the sudden emancipation of 1888, for the 
growth of the free negro element has been so considerable, and white Brazilians 

9 8 


so accustomed to treating it with consideration and paying it 


for its 

service, that the emancipated slaves (where they were not aged pensioners) 

joined the ranks of the free coloured people 
without difficulty. 

Semi-independent, pagan Bush-negroes, 
Muhammadan "Males," and Christian "eman- 
cipados" have, in the later history of Brazil, 
once or twice given trouble to the authorities 
in the interior (the eastern and southern 
provinces chiefly) by their independent de- 
meanour. Before the complete emancipation 
in 1888 there were attempts made to send 
the more turbulent back to West Africa. 1 

In 1835 there were 2,100,000 slaves in 
Brazil; in 1875 the number had dropped 
(after the partial emancipation of 1871) to 
1,476,567. But there was a recrudescence of 
demand for slave labour (or official estimates 
were wrong), for in 1884 the total number 
of slaves was computed at nearly 3,000,000. 
In 1 888, however, slavery was abruptly 
abolished by Imperial decree (under the 
regency of the Princess Isabella), and the 
discontent caused by this final blow to servi- 
tude (just as railway and rubber develop- 
ments were giving it a new value in the eyes 
of the entrepreneur), coupled with other 
causes of political unrest, cost the dynasty of 
Braganca the Brazilian throne. 

After emancipation the movement to- 
wards a fusion of races between the ex-slave 
and the descendants of his Luso-Brazilian 
masters went on more rapidly even than 
during the three centuries of mild servitude. 
The Portuguese are at heart an essentially 
kind, good-natured people, and least of all 
Christian European races have a contempt 
for the coloured races. Possibly this may 
spring from these two facts : that there is a 
strong Moorish, North African element in 
Southern Portugal, and even an old inter- 
mixture with those negroes who were im- 
ported thither from North-west Africa in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to till the 
scantily populated southern provinces ; and 
also that Brazil, the Azores, and Madeira were 
rather colonised from the Moorish southern 
half of Portugal than from the Gothic north. 


Although this individual was a native of Guiana, 
to the north of Brazil, he resembles very closely 
the better types of Brazilian mameluco 

1 Between 1850 and 1878 about four thousand to six thousand Brazilian 
Lagos and Whydah, and a few went to Angola. 

emancipados " settled at 


Arrived in Brazil, the Portuguese — prolific breeders outside Portugal 1 — 
another paradox ! — mixed eagerly with the Amerindians and raised up a great, 
proud, and warlike intermediary race of Mamelucos. 2 Then in the late seven- 
teenth century they and the mamelucos began to mix maritally with the 
imported negresses. Unlike the British and British-Americans, and like the 
French and Dutch, they did not spurn or neglect their offspring by slave 
concubines. On the contrary, they educated them, set them free (usually), 
lifted them above servitude, raised them socially to the level of the Whites ; 
and at the present day it may be truly said that among two-thirds of the 
Brazilians speaking Portuguese there are no colour distinctions in society or 
politics. The co.our problem is only beginning to appear slightly in the 
expanding German and Swiss settlements, and more markedly in the centres of 
pure white Portuguese colonisation in the south. 

The growing-up of a huge empire of mulattoes, of mixed Caucasian-Negro- 
Amerindian blood, impressed very unfavourably Louis Agassiz when he 
explored Brazil in the later sixties. In his book 3 he writes as follows : — 

This mixture of races seems to have had a much more unfavourable influence on the 
physical development than in the United States. It is as if all clearness of type had 
been blurred, and the result is a vague compound lacking character and expression. 
This hybrid class, although more marked here because the Indian element is added, is 
very numerous in all the cities ; perhaps the fact, so honourable to Brazil, that the free 
negro has full access to all the privileges of any free citizen, rather tends to increase than 
diminish the number. 4 

But it may be that Agassiz took a too pessimistic view, and that the new 
Brazilian race, though it may have for centuries an unchangeably yellow-brown 
skin and undulating hair, may develop into a vigorous human type able to hold 
its own against the Nordic or the Mediterranean White man, the pure negro (if 

1 The area of Portugal, the Azores and Madeira is 35,290 square miles, more than two-thirds the size 
of England ; and England, not so completely habitable as well-nigh-perfect Portugal, supports a popula- 
tion of thirty millions. The total population of Portugal and the Islands is only six millions. 

2 " The product of European and Indian is a fine type ; handsome, well-built, and nice in character. 
I believe further that the Indian blood once introduced tends to eat up the other blood and to reproduce 
itself again and again. There is more than mere blood in this. One cross of Indian blood will show in 
many generations, often stronger in the son than in the father who was nearer the original Indian strain — 
in the clear-cut, sensitive lips and mouth, the straight nose, clear, clean, olive skin, and the extraordinary, 
straight, black oily hair— blue-black, and exuding a natural oil which is clean and sweet and keeps the 
hair abundant and glossy. The Indian possesses the "Spirit of the Soil," whatever that is, because he 
has been evolved through so many ages where he now lives. The same influences of food, climate, air, 
f Test, hills, and a thousand imperceptible influences which are at work on the new-comer, causes any 
drop of Indian blood in his children to bring out the Indian type peculiarities and cause his descendants, 
if the mother have the least tinge of Indian about her, to look more like the aboriginal of Brazil than is 
warranted by racial descent." (From a correspondent.) 

3 A Journey in Brazil, by Louis Agassiz, 1868. 

4 Agassiz adds this note: "Let anyone who doubts the evil of this mixture of races, and is inclined, from a 
mistaken philanthropy, to break down all barriers between them, come to Brazil. He cannot deny the de- 
terioration consequent upon an amalgamation of races, more widespread here than in any other country in 
the world, and which is rapidly effacing the best qualities of the white man, the negro, and the Indian, 
leaving a mongrel nondescript type, deficient in physical and mental energy. At a time when the new- 
social status of the negro is a subject of vital importance in our statesmanship, we should profit by the 
experience of a country where, though slavery exists, there is far more liberality toward the free negro 
than he has ever enjoyed in the United States. Let us learn the double lesson : open all the advantages 
of education to the negro, and give him every chance of success which culture gives to the man who 
knows how to use it ; but respect the laws of nature, and let all dealings with the black man tend 
to preserve, as far as possible, the distinctness of his national characteristics, and the integrity of 
our ov n." 

He w can Agassiz dogmatise on the laws of Nature? May he not, like Mrs. Partington, be trying to 
sweep out the Atlantic? 


any survive in the New Brazil of the twenty-first century), or the regenerated 
Amerindian. 1 

The liberated negro slave has, like every other Brazilian citizen, the vote. 
The franchise is extended to all male citizens over twenty-one years of age who 
are literate, not beggars or vagrants, not in active service as soldiers, or monks 
in a monastery. The negro or negroid is equally eligible for holding all public, 
municipal, and political offices. 2 He enjoys the same protection of the laws as 
his white or yellow fellow-citizen. He is now a " Homem Brazileiro," and the 
word negro, even when applied to one of pure negro race, has come to be used 
only as a term of abuse, which may be made still further offensive by supple- 
menting it with the words "de Africa." This has come to be one of the most 
offensive terms one can apply to a Brazilian citizen, even though he be of un- 
mixed negro descent. If you must discriminate as to colour in conversation, 
you speak of a "preto" {preto in Portuguese = black]. 

" All colour distinctions in the population of Matto Grosso have fallen 
away, and with them all distinction between the white race, the Amerindian, 
and the Negro. In Matto Grosso, indeed, the apparently irreconcilable social 
disparity between the three races seems to have found a satisfactory solution." 3 
Nevertheless, the white race still holds an ascendancy throughout Brazil as the 
foremost exponent of modern civilisation ; nor is this ascendancy likely to be 
lost, in spite of the climatic advantage possessed by the African race. This is 
due, in the opinion of modern writers, to the supreme influence of capital. The 
white race has capital behind it : the negro has not. 

The conditions regarding the acquisition of land (more especially Govern- 
ment land in new districts) require the possession of more or less ready money. 
The white man, therefore, acquires the land and surveys it at his own expense. 
Before he casts his eye over this likely estate it may already have been squatted 
on by negroes, negroids, or " Indians" (these squatters are called " Moradores " in 
Brazil), or after the estate has been acquired and surveyed, the Moradores 
drift thither and settle on it with or without permission. But before long they 
are obliged to come to terms with the real owner of the estate, who has 
acquired these rights by a legal contract. So far from the estate owner 
desiring to evict the squatter, he is anxious to come to terms with him, because 
if he be harsh, the squatter with his invaluable labour will move off to an un- 
claimed piece of land or to a more considerate employer. The unwritten law 
which all parties believe in and observe is that the Morador shall pay for his 
rent and for other benefits in labour, and this he is quite ready to do, provided 
the demands on his time are not unreasonable. But the estate owner generally 
keeps a store, and is in a small way a banker. The result is that the Mora- 
dores — Negro and Indian — are generally more or less in debt to the proprietor 
they serve ; and the latter, if need be, has recourse to the law to compel the 
payment of debt by a reasonable amount of labour. Usually quite patriarchal 
conditions arise between the white Padrao and the coloured "Camarada." This 
last receives in theory small monthly wages, which are not always adequate to 
the payment of the rent and the purchase of goods ; but then he has a light to 

1 A well-informed correspondent in Brazil writes to me on this topic: "The Brazilian negro is fast 
disappearing. The future Brazilian will have very much negro blood in him, but he will be t. yellow 
man, and will regard Paris as his Mecca. He does already !" 

- "All negroes are 'citizens of Brazil' — entirely equal, legally, socially, and by democratic sentiment 
or instinct. In that respect, Brazil is a true republic." (A correspondent.) 

3 Dr. Max Schmidt in Koloniale Rundschau for April, 1909. 


share the two principal meals of his Patron, to whose family he considers that 
he belongs. The Padrao is usually the godfather — and his wife the godmother 
— of the Camarada's children. The Padrao conceives himself obliged by the 
requirements of good feeling to give occasional entertainments to the tenants 
with singing, dancing, and fireworks, usually on saints' days. 

Until the negro acquires capital, which he invests in land and in the 


development of estates, so long will the white man hold the political and social 
ascendancy in Brazil. And it should be noted once again that negro tenants 
very much dislike settling down under negro landlords (where there are such). 
They infinitely prefer to associate themselves with the development of estate* 
owned by white men, or, at any rate, by such persons who endeavour to conceal 
the slight element of the negro or the Amerindian in their bodies by behaving 
with the liberality and justice attributed to the white man. 



It is obvious 1 that the capabilities of the negro imported from Africa must 
have been of the greatest value to the early settler in Brazil, as he possessed 
just those qualities which were lacking in the Amerindians, even if the latter 
race had furnished all the skilled and unskilled labour demanded by the 
development of this vast region. The Negro, for example, displayed a remark- 
able knowledge of cattle-breeding and an inherent skill in the working and 
forging of minerals — the blacksmith's art in particular. As the Amerindians 
of Brazil were practically unacquainted with the care of domestic animals at 
all (since, except near the frontiers of Bolivia and Peru, they did not even know 
the llama or the guanaco), they were of no use in cattle-breeding. Indeed, as 



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late as 1901 all attempts to induce them to raise live-stock have been fruitless. 
The climate over much of Brazil made it difficult or impossible for a people of 
European descent to take charge of cattle, sheep, goats, or horses. In this 
respect, in Matto Grosso the negro has been particularly useful, has dis- 
played remarkable gifts as a cattle-keeper, and has even imparted those gifts to 
his hybrids with the Amerindians and with the white man. It is said that 
many useful practices in connection with the breeding and keeping of cattle 
were learnt by the early Portuguese settlers from the negro, and not taught by 
them to him. 

The almost exclusive monopoly of blacksmith's work which the negro popu- 
lation holds in Matto Grosso is quite remarkable. With the exception of the 
peoples along the frontiers of Bolivia and Peru, the working of metals was 

1 These observations are founded on an article by Dr. Max Schmidt in the Koloniale Riindschati for 
April, 1909. 


practically unknown to the Amerindians of Brazil in the sixteenth century ; 
and even at the present day most of the iron implements in their possession 
(such as lance-heads, arrow-heads, iron rings for striking fire with flint) have 
been made for them by negroes living amongst them or in their neighbourhood. 
Dr. Max Schmidt observed that the negro in making great lance-heads for the 
Guato Indians, imitated very closely the shape and pattern of the old Guato 
lance which had a bone point. 

Quite a million of the Amerindians are still pagan ; twenty or thirty thou- 
sand of the negroes are Muhammadan (more or less) or actually preserve their 
fetishistic beliefs brought from Africa. These pagan negroes have fetish 
temples in their villages in which they house the rude figures of gods similar to 


those of" Dahome and the Niger delta. I have seen a collection made in 
Brazil (by Dr. H. VV. Furniss, U.S.A. Minister to Haiti) of these wooden 
painted idols which might have come from the west coast of Africa. But 
Christianity is rapidly spreading among all classes and races. All the Brazilian 
Christians, except two hundred thousand (mostly Germans, British, and a few 
negroes), belong to the Roman Catholic Church ; though there is no State 
religion, and all reasonable faiths may be freely held. 

Education is not compulsory in Brazil ; and the negro peasantry at the 
present time are very poorly educated, few of those who have reached middle 
age being able to read and write. These faculties are much more common 
amongst the present young people of between ten and fifteen years of age. In 
the towns, however, the standard of negro education is much higher and 
scarcely differs from that of the white population. Very few negroids are un- 
able to read, write, and cipher. 



The average negro house in the country is built of wood and clay and 
covered with tiles. The dwelling usually consists of two fair-sized rooms, with 
a shed or lean-to which serves as a kitchen. There is no window, and the house 
•door, which generally stands open, is the one means of admitting light. The 
'hammock is universally adopted as a bed. There are a few wooden chests for 
clothes, and a table on which usually stands a glass case containing images of 
the saints. 

The dress amongst the peasants in the case of the men is usually a shirt and 
trousers, a leather belt, leather shoes or slippers, and a broad-brimmed hat 
made of felt or straw. The women wear a cotton skirt and blouse, but very 


often in the country only a skirt. The small children run about naked, but on 
approaching puberty the girls wear a short cotton frock and the boys a tattered 

All the well-to-do negroes and negroids are dressed like Frenchmen of good 
standing, in garments devised by Anglo-French tailors, hosiery usually from 
England or the States. Horn burg hats, and cJiapeaux de Jumte-fonne (on 
appropriate occasions). " Their ladies of course go to Worth, or imitation 
Worth. Clothes are a perfect mania with all classes and colours in Brazil, 
except the peasants ; it is their first and last thought. But one must admit 
that they usually dress in good taste," 1 writes a correspondent in Brazil. 

1 He adds : " The curious thing is that the cross between the clumsy negro slave and the not particu- 
larly ' fi ingant ' Portuguese — with a dash of the wild Indian thrown in — should present such a contrast to the 
parents or grandparents in the way of cleanliness and smartness. The coloured Brazilian is the greatest 


Of course in general mode of life, social customs, etc., the educated coloured 
people of Brazil are scarcely distinguishable from the Portuguese middle or 
upper classes, according to their means and social status. The peasants, how- 
ever, away from the towns lead a more African existence, and except that the 
house or hut may be a little superior to the average negro home in Africa, 
manners and customs in domesticity are little changed from the standard of the 
Gold Coast or Dahome — not a very low standard, by the by. 

At their meals the negro men and boys eat with spoons and sit at a table, 
but the women and girls (in the country) employ nothing but their fingers in 
helping themselves to food, and usually eat apart from the men. 




The country negroes and many of those who dwell in towns do not trouble 
themselves very much about contracting a legal marriage. Negro men and 
women simply live together in what is called locally the compankeira system. 
A woman with or without children simply takes up her abode with a man who 
pleases her and shares his home as his wife at the pleasure of both parties. 
Yet these unions are sometimes as permanent as if they were consecrated by 
the Church or contracted under the law. There is, however, a good deal of 
.unrecognised polygamy, and many negroes are husbands of more than one 

dandy you can imagine, and the vainest fop. Every man and boy without exception carries a pocket 
mirror and a comb; and in the streets, trams, ferry boats, etc., he constantly uses both. His curls are 
as dear to him as is — or was — the 'quiff' to Tommy Atkins. The Neo-Brazilian has a good conceit of 
himself. One thing I must say in his fivour : he is clean." 



OF BRAZIL (1908-IO) 

The irrepressible negro and negroid— you may dislike their physiognomy, 

call them fop, gorilla, and other disagreeable names, but they always come up 

smiling and bear little malice — enters all 
careers, serves in all trades, professions, and 
employments in Brazil, from the humblest to 
nearly the highest, from the scavenger and 
sewage collector to the priesthood, college 
professorships, party-leadership, even perhaps 
to the presidential throne. At least it is said 
that more than one of the chief magistrates 
of the "United States of Brazil" has had a 
tricklet of Ethiopia in his veins. 

Negroes constitute a large proportion of 
the Brazilian standing army of 19,000 men, 
of the police l and navy (with a personnel of 
6000). They furnish in like manner the bulk 
of the recruits for military bands and civilian 
orchestras. Some of the best music in Brazil 
is produced by half-caste negroids or pure- 
blooded negroes. 

The total area of Brazil is enormous : in- 
cluding the recently purchased Acre territory 
it amounts to 3,293,000 square miles. 2 The 
population for 1908 is approximately 

20,000,000, divided roughly under 

the following racial types : 8,000,000 

zv/iites, 1,700,000 mamelucos (Caucaso- 

merindian) ; 2,000,000 Amerindians ; 

5,582,000 negroids (mulattoes, etc., 

Cafuzos, and hybrids between the 

three racial stocks of America) ; and 

2,718,000 more or less pure-blood 

Negroes. 3 

As regards the rate of increase, 

1 The military police force of Rio and most 
other big towns is pure Negro, or Cafuzo 
(Negrindian) ; the civil police are almost all 
white men or Mamelucos. The General com- 
manding the Rio Police is (or was) a Mulatto. 
The senior Admiral in the Navy and the present 
Minister of Marine (1909) are also Eurafrican in 
race. As a rule, however, the officers in the 
standing army and in the police force are white, 
or white tinged with Amerindian blood. 

2 Nearly as large as the United States and 

3 Counting Negroes and Negroids there are 
approximately S, people of more or less 
African descent in Brazil, as against 8,000.000 
of European race. If the 8,000,000 whites joined 
with the 1,700,000 Caucaso-merindians and the 
2,000,000 Amerindians, there would be a White- 
Yellow majority of 3,400,000 over the Browns 
and Blacks. But this is an idle speculation, as 
Fusion is the key-note of Brazilian Government. 

91. a "cafuzo' 
Hybrid between Negro and Amerindian 


recent statistics published by Dr. Pires de Almeida (in the Rio Jornal do 
Commercio during September, 1909) show that it is greatest (4*4) not 
among the pure whites or the absolute negroes, but in marriages between 
civilised "Indians" (Caboclos) and Mamelucos or Caucaso-merindian hybrids. 
The average number of children produced in a marriage between a white 
man and an Amerindian woman is four ; between an Amerindian man 
and a white woman 3'8. Negroes married to negresses give a proportion 
of about three children per marriage, and the unions of pure-blood whites, 3'5. 

There are no statistics con- 
cerning uncivilised Amerindians, 
but the average increase, i.e. 
number of live children born 
to their women, is guessed at 
under one. Great stress is laid 
by Dr. de Almeida on living 
children, because he points out 
what a large proportion of the 
children in Brazil are born dead. 
The death - rate among young 
children is very high among 
negroes, negroids, and Amer- 
indians. Civilised Amerindians 
in Brazil {Caboclos) have a pro- 
portionate increase of three 
children per marriage and a 
less heavy infant death - rate. 
Negroids intermarrying with 
Negroids show a birth-rate of 

White men uniting with 

negresses, and negroes with 
white women have a birth-rate 
in Brazil of only 2 - 9. On the 
other hand, Amerindians married 
to negroes and leading a civilised 
existence in cities have a high 
birth-rate : yg. 

Dr. Bulhoes Carvalho con- 
siders the Amerindian the most 
fecund stock in the country ; 


especially when mingled with an infusion of white or negro blood. But the 
Amerindian element is lowering the stature of the Brazilian people, which, 
except in the pure white or unmixed negroes, is sensibly shorter than it was at 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, before the great intermingling of the 
racial types began. 

The geographical distribution of Negroes and negroids in Brazil is 
approximately as follows : — They inhabit all the coast region for one or two 
hundred miles inland, from Para (near the mouth of the Amazons) to the 
frontier of Uruguay ; the provinces of Minas Geraes, Sao Paulo, and Matto 
Grosso. They are particularly numerous in the towns of large size, and in the 
vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Bahia, Pernambuco, Ceara, and Maranhao. 
A few are found in the coast region of Brazilian Guiana. But although they 



are scattered sporadically all over Brazil, and as traders and chance workers 
penetrate the most remote Amazonian regions, they really only count as the 
preponderating element of the population in the coast-lands of Eastern Brazil, 
in Minas Geraes, and in the mining districts of Matto Grosso. The rest of 
Brazil is given up to a sparse one and three-quarter millions of Amerindians, 
civilised 1 and uncivilised, to Mamelucos, and to whites. Of course a good 
many whites and Caucaso-merindian hybrids inhabit the same parts of Brazil 
that are (otherwise) mainly populated by negroes and negroids. The " whitest " 


1 The wild, naked — and most of the wild Amerindians of Brazil go absolutely naked, men and 
women — aborigines are called by the Portuguese, Indios bravos ; the civilised and clothed, Caboclo, 
fern. Cabocla. It has already been mentioned that the name for the hybrid between Portuguese and 
Amerindian — perhaps the coming race in Brazil — is Mameluco (a fanciful term derived from the Arabic 
Mamluk) ; that of the hybrid between Negro and Amerindian is Cafuzo, "a very rake-helly type," 
writes a correspondent, "but a vigorous one and very prominent in the Brazilian army and military 
police." "As to the Indians of the Amazons, they are very fine chaps mostly, but differ greatly 
according to tribe and locality, both in physical form, strength, and skin-colour. Some are copper, 
others olive, yellow, or brown ; and some are nearly white. Some are handsome tribes ; others re- 
pulsive in the extreme. There is one extraordinary tribe, the Paratintins, exceedingly tall and 
abnormally developed in a manner precisely recalling those strange descriptions gathered by the 
missionaries of the sixteenth century from native legends in Northern South America ; descriptions of 
an awful tribe of cannibal, licentious giants which appeared from the Amazon valley and committed 
frightful ravages on the civilised peoples of Colombia and Ecuador." (From a correspondent.) 

The present Amerindian population of Brazil can scarcely be less than 2,000,000. They may not 
have increased very much since 1890, when they were last counted, but in that year no attempt was 
made to include in the census many tribes in North-West, Central, and East-Central Brazil. The number 
of mamelucos or Caucaso-merindian hybrids is approximately 1,700,000. They are a type that is in- 
creasing faster than any other race in Brazil. 


portions of Brazil are the Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catherina, Parana, Sao 
Paulo, and south-eastern Matto Grosso. 

As regards the white population the Portuguese element is overwhelmingly 
large, not only from the pre-independence days, but by the steady Portuguese 
immigration since 1850, amounting in all to quite 2,000,000. During the last 
fifty years about 230,000 Spanish or Spanish Americans have entered Brazil, 
and about 1,000,000 Italians have remained there ; and these " Latin" elements 
have easily fused with the nearly related Portuguese, especially in language. 
For some reason the German element in the population has been much 
exaggerated, and "a million Germans" are often attributed to Brazil by the 
American Press. As a matter of cold fact, there appear to be about 150,000 
Germans, Austrians, Baltic Russians, and German Swiss in Brazil ; but owing 
to their energy and increasing wealth they and the four to five thousand 
British wield an influence quite out of proportion to their numbers. 

Yet the coloured man administers, even if he does not rule! Especially since 
the commencement of the Republic. At the present moment there is scarcely 
a lowly or a highly placed Federal or Provincial official, at the head of or 
within any of the great departments of State, that has not more or less Negro 
or Amerindian blood in his veins. I am not putting this forward as a reproach: 
quite the contrary. It is an interesting fact, and an encouraging one. 


THE Dutch were hard taskmasters ; as slaveholders disliked perhaps more 
than the British or the British Americans. They threw themselves into the 
slave-trade and the establishment of slave-worked plantations with a zest 
exceeding that of any other nationality : in the Malay Archipelago, at the 
Cape of Good Hope, in North America, Guiana, and Northern Brazil. 

The Dutch made their first trading voyage to the Guinea Coast in 1595, 
sixteen years after throwing off the yoke of Spain. On the plea of warring 
with the Spanish Empire, which then included Portugal, they displaced the 

■«•*, r •'> l hmmm!' 


Elmina — Edena in native parlance — was the first stronghold of the European slave trade on 
the West Coast of Africa. It was held by the Dutch from 1637 to 1872 

latter power at various points along the west coast of Africa : at Arguin (north 
of the Senegal), at Goree (purchased in 162 1 from the natives), Elmina (cap- 
tured from the Portuguese in 1637), and at Sao Paulo de Loanda about the 
same time. They also threatened Mozambique on the east coast, and possessed 
themselves of the island of Mauritius. From the Mozambique coast they 
brought slaves to the Cape of Good Hope, some of which were transferred later 
to America. 

On the Gold Coast, in addition to Elmina the Dutch established sixteen 
other forts, some of them alongside British settlements, which last the Dutch 
West India Company regarded with the keenest jealousy. The Dutch Gold 
Coast Possessions — like the British— were governed by a Chartered Company, 
that of the Dutch West Indies. 1 Goree and Arguin were lost to the French in 

1 Reconstituted as the New Dutch West India Company in 1674 and chartered to control the Guiana 
Coast in 1682. 

1 10 


1 1 1 

1677-8, and Angola was only held for about eight years ; therefore the Dutch 
during all the great period of American colony-making in eastern tropical 
America — the "sugar age," from 1660 to 1840 — were obliged to rely on the 
Gold Coast for their slave supply. As they purveyed for other nations in 
addition, it is mainly the Dutch (but also the British) who are responsible for 
the introduction of so many Gold Coast slaves into the West Indies, South 
Carolina, and the Guianas. These were usually called " Koromantis," from the 
Dutch fort of Cormantyn or Koromanti near Cape Coast Castle, or "Almas" 
from El Mina ; and they were probably derived from the Ashanti and the 
warlike tribes of the Black and 
the White Volta. The Koromanti 
slaves were always the prominent 
or the sole fighters in the great 
slave revolts of the West Indies 
and Guiana during the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries. 1 

The Dutch fixed on Guiana first 
of all as a region of tropical America 
where they would meet with least 
opposition from Spaniard or Portu- 
guese. They visited the coast as 
early as 1580, and continued to 
send ships thither on trading ex- 
peditions, until in 1614 the states of 
Holland granted local monopolies 
of trade to any Dutchman who 
would found settlements in Guiana. 
Thus encouraged, Essequibo was 
established in 1616 and Berbice in 
1624. Surinam (Paramaribo) was 
acquired from the British by treaty 
in 1.674. But Guiana was also an 
attraction to the English and French. 
Sir Walter Raleigh sailed up the 
Orinoco River in search of the 
legendary " El Dorado " country 
and revisited the Orinoco region 
again in 1617. Although he scarcely 
-<-~rer> the real Guiana country 
1 '*■<*". the Orinoco basin, he 

eastward of ? its gold-bearing possibilities from 1595 onwards, and British 
J e w attention to , and partially succeeded in founding settlements at the 

^venturers attemp'te' allel rivers flowing northward through (what are now 

mouths of the many British, French, and Dutch Guiana. 
le separate colonies c tcn West India Company was established, and after- 
In 162 1 the first Z) e m hand as a monopoly in Guiana and the Dutch 

vards took the slave- tra :ajr to °^ P ossession °f the island of Santa Cruz, 

est Indies. This com ^ between the Greater and Lesser Antilles, in 1625. 

wnich commands the ra " Jl "t nc e and eventually sold to Denmark in 1733.] 

L^anta Cruz was cant, .TflP £ "'upied the islands of Curacoa, Bonaire, and 

oxiortJy aft ^ a pLurecl by p r n L 

i diuerwards the Dutch s '" from Kofi ' a common Ashanti name - 

Free negro bush-soldier of Dutch Guiana, eighteenth century 

T W were also ca„ed«Ko ffi , 


Aruba off the north coast of Venezuela, which have remained Dutch down to 
the present day. In 1640 the little island of Saba, and at a later date the 
southern half of St. Martin and the island of St. Eustatia (all in the northern- 
most group of the Lesser Antilles) were added to the Dutch West Indian 
possessions, and became mainly peopled by negroes, besides, like Guiana, afford- 
ing a refuge to many Jewish traders. 

In 1630 and in 165 1-2 British adventurers built small trading towns on the 
Surinam coast, particularly at Paramaribo; and in 1662 Charles II granted the 
whole of Guiana to Lord Willoughby of Barbados, who brought with him a 
number of English and negroes and established his head-quarters at Para- 
maribo. 1 Here his colony was strengthened by several hundred Jews anciently 

In the land of many rivers, Dutch Guiana 

of Spanish origin, who had first come to America under Dutch protection, but 
who fled from one of the temporary Dutch settlements — Cayenne — when it was 
recaptured by the French in 1664. 2 

1 The long stay of the British in Surinam [really only terminated in 1674] implanted English so 
firmly amongst the Negro slaves that even to this day their dialect is a jargon much more compounded of 
English than of any other language. 

2 An important element in the colonisation of Dutch Guiana were the Jews, mainly f Spanish and 
Portuguese origin, who had migrated to the Dutch settlements from French Cayenr lC [ n 1664 (led by the 
heroic Samuel Cohen Nassy), or who came there when expelled from Spain a<\ lC i Portugal, or proceeded 
direct from Holland to Surinam. They brought to or created in the colony great wealth, and under the 
Dutch flag they enjoyed peculiar privileges, which were not terminated till 1825, when they became 
merged without distinction in the rest of the free citizens of Dutch Ami ;rica. When Lord Willoughby's 
Guiana colony was withdrawn in 1675, tne Spanish and Portuguese Jew s w ho had settled there migrated 
to Jamaica and Barbados. The Jamaica Jews, bearing for the most pa) t Spanish names, have been from 
time to time very notable persons in the development of the West Ind- J e s. Many of the Jews with the 
Spanish or Portuguese names whom one encounters in English sp'ciety have derived their fortunes from 
the West Indies. Lord Beaconsfield's " fairy godmother," Mrs . Brydges Williams {nee Cordova), whose 
fortune went so far to establish his position and power in Britis r n politics, had derived her money from the 
West Indies. i 

The West Indian Jews played a considerable part as brokers in the slave-trade, and had representa- 
tives at the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and elsewhere on ihff* West African coast until the slave-trade was 
finally extirpated. 



I! 3 

But in 1667, by the Peace of Breda, and by the Treaty of Westminster in 
1674, the Dutch secured all Guiana (except the French portion — Cayenne) 
and governed it as a number of separate colonies under the direction of the 
New West India Chartered Company. 1 Sugar-cane cultivation became their 
most lucrative industry, and to work this large numbers of negroes were 
brought to Guiana. Many of the slaves, however, ran away to the thickly 
forested interior, mingled slightly with the Amerindians and formed warlike 
savage tribes, which by the beginning of the eighteenth century were at war 
with the Dutch. 

Owing to dissatisfacton with negro slave labour the Dutch in 17 14 attempted 
to introduce natives of the East Indies — " kulis " — into Guiana, thus forestalling 
the " coolie" traffic of the nineteenth 
century. But the experiment was a 
failure; the East Indians were badly 
treated, many died, and a few ran 
away and joined the " bosch negers " 
in the forests. Therefore as there 
was an ever-increasing demand for 
sugar from Essequibo, Demerara, 
Berbice, and Paramaribo, and as also 
the cultivation of the coco-nut palm 
had been introduced (in 1688) and of 
cacao (1725), the demand for negro 
labour in Guiana once more became 
a great impetus to the slave-trade. 

During the eighteenth century 
the Dutch in their Guiana posses- 
sions inflicted shocking cruelties on 
their negro slaves. They probably 
fed and housed them better than did 
the British, and took more trouble to 
educate their half-caste children ; but 
otherwise they certainly hold (com- 
paring all the records) a sad pre- 
eminence over their contemporaries 
of all nationalities in the eighteenth 


century lor extravagant torture and slaves condemned to death by torture 

even reckleSS massacre in their deal- From a drawing by Captain J. G. Stedman, at the close of 

ings with negroes free and enslaved. eighteenth cemury 

In Guiana married and unmarried Dutch women had no tenderer hearts 

towards their domestic slaves than had their men relations to field-hands, town 

servants, or labourers. It is recorded of a certain Miss S n that she always 

had her female slaves flogged across the breasts because it caused them greater 
pain. Negresses in Surinam, 2 it is stated by Captain Stedman, frequently 

3 To whom Guiana was handed over in 1682. 

2 Some of these statements and the accompanying illustrations are derived from the Narrative of an 
Expedition to Surinam, l>y Captain J. G. Stedman (London, 1796). Stedman was an officer in the 
British Navy, but there being no war on hand and he unable to live without pay. joined the Scottish 
Brigade in the service of Holland and was sent with a variety of officers and men of mixed nationality to 
Surinam, where they were to combat the Bush or Maroon negroes who gave that colony such trouble and 
anxiety. The principal commandant of the force was a French Swiss. He rela'es an incident on the way 
out to show the heartlessness of the Dutch captain o r the transport on which he was travelling. A boat- 



ii 4 



received two hundred lashes — sometimes for nothing more serious than breaking 
a cup; they were flogged till their intestines were exposed, and pregnant 
women till they aborted. " A young female slave — having proved unequal to 
the task given her to perform — was sentenced to receive two hundred lashes and 
to drag during some months a chain several yards in length, one end of which 
was locked round her ankle while the other was affixed to a weight of at least 
one hundred pounds." At some of the plantation houses the Dutch ladies 
were waited on at table by absolutely naked female slaves, the reason given (to 
Stedman) being that unless these young women went about absolutely bare 
they might conceal signs of pregnancy, a condition which their mistresses wish 
to avoid or avert, as "bearing children would spoil their shape." The husbands 
of similar ladies on their part preferred that their barge-rowers should likewise 
remain nude: "Being healthy, young, and vigorous, they looked extremely 
well, and their being naked gave us a full opportunity of observing their skin, 

which was shining and nearly as black as 

" Walking out on the 1st of May, I observed 
a crowd of people along the waterside, before 
the house of Mr. S — Ik — r, where appeared the 
dreadful spectacle of a beautiful young mulatto 
girl floating on her back with her hands tied 
behind, her throat most shockingly cut, and 
stabbed in the breast with a knife in more than 
eight or ten places. This was reported to have 
been the work of that infernal fiend Mrs. S — Ik — r 
from a motive of jealousy, suspecting that her 
husband might fall in love with this unfortunate 
female. This monster of a woman had before 
drowned a negro infant merely for crying — nay, 
she was accused of still greater barbarity. 
Arriving one day at her estate to view some 
negroes newly purchased, her eyes chanced to 
fall on a fine negro girl about fifteen years old 
who could not even speak the language of the country. Observing her to be 
a remarkably fine figure, with a sweet engaging countenance, her diabolical 
jealousy instantly prompted her to burn the girl's cheeks, mouth, and forehead 
with a red-hot iron ; she also cut the tendon Achilles of one of her legs, thus 
rendering her a monster of deformity and a miserable object as long as she 
lived ; the. poor victim not knowing what she had done to deserve so severe 
a punishment." 

This female fury, for whom no imagined hell is hot enough, but who, alas ! 
can be matched here and there in the eighteenth-century record of Dutch 
Guiana — nay, even in the Southern United States and one or two British West 
India Islands and in French St. Domingue — was supplicated by her slaves for 
a more merciful treatment ; whereupon she at once — to assert her authority — 
knocked out the brains of a quadroon child and caused two young negroes, its 


swain — a fine young seaman — fell overboard into the sea from the fore-yard-arm. " His presence of mind 
in calling to the captain as he floated alongside, 'Be not alarmed for me, sir,' in the confidence of meeting 
with relief, attracted peculiar compassion, and even caused some murmuring, as no assistance was offered 
him ; in consequence of which, after swimming a co siderable time within view, the unfortunate young 
man went to the bottom." 


1 1 

relations, to be beheaded. Some of her slaves afterwards picked up these 
bloody heads and went in to Paramaribo to lay them before the Governor, 
pleading for his intervention. His only answer was to order them to be 
flogged severely round the streets of Paramaribo. 

As in the British and French colonies of the period, a slave could not bear 
witness, could not be heard in a court of law. But had a white person witnessed 
these atrocities and given evidence on the subject, the utmost penalty that 
would have been inflicted was a fine of ,£50. 

There seem to have been a number of Dutch women in the Guiana settle- 
ments of the eighteenth century, and 
they stood the climate much better 
than the men as regards vitality ; 
but something in the air, the food, 
the life seems to have made them as 
energetic, passionate, and vicious as 
their husbands tended to become 
languid and ramolli. It was no un- 
common thing for a Dutch lady of 
Surinam to have buried four Euro- 
pean husbands and to be on the look 
out for a fifth ; whereas no Dutch 
man was known to have been widowed 
(of a white wife) more than twice. 
The Dutch women had often good 
cause for jealousy, because their hus- 
bands after a short residence in 
Guiana preferred the society of quad- 
roons and mulattoes and even Indian 
girls. Yet the men seem to have 
been too limp to intervene to save 
their wretched mistresses from the 
vengeance of the lawful wife. 1 Ac- 
cording to Stedman and several other 
writers of the late eighteenth century, 
the British Leeward Islands at this 
period made a profitable business out 
of rearing quadroon and octoroon 


and sending them to Dutch 

Dutch Guiana, eighteenth century 

Guiana to be sold for the harem. 

The Jews were as bad as the so- 
called Christians. A Jewess of Paramaribo, impelled by groundless jealousy, 
killed a young and beautiful quadroon girl by " plunging a red-hot poker into 
her body." She was only punished by a trifling fine and banishment to a 
country village. Another young negro woman, having her ankles chained so 
close together that she could scarcely move her feet, was knocked down with a 
cane by a Jew and be aten till the hlnnd streamed out of head, ar ms, and side s. 

For dis obedience or anything approaching mutin y (mutiny being oiten the 
refusal of sexual intercourse with a white overseer) women were broken 

1 With the curious inconsistency of the Saxon, local society in the eighteenth century was very severe 
on Dutch women who were unfaithful to their Dutch husbands with white men, and expelled such women 
from the colony ; but winked at less avowable amours between white women and negro slaves. 



alive on the rark with iron bars, decapitated, flogged till their flpsh wac; m 
|0 . ribbons and hung up by thp thlimh g f ^' a hranrk. or tortu red in ways that are 
unprintabl e. 

If this treatment of the women slaves was as bad as is represented, what is 
to be said about the sufferings of the men slaves in Dutch Guiana between the 
close of the seventeenth and the end of the eighteenth century? Men were 
hung up to gibbets by means of a hook inserted under the ribs, being left to 
revolve thus in the blazing sunshine till they died ; they were bound to stakes 
and slowly roasted to death ; * they were covered with wounds (partly self- 
inflicted, so as to escape torture by suicide) and then heavily loaded with chains 

and fastened close to the fierce, 
spirituous heat of rum-stills — a pro- 
cess thought to entail a specially 
painful and lingering death. Negro 
criminals were sometimes executed 
by being torn asunder, each limb 
being fastened to the saddle of a 
restive horse. 

The slaves were compelled to 
work every day in the week if the 
master wished it. 2 As in the Ba- 
hamas and the Southern States, it 
was thought a smarter commercial 
policy to work a strong slave to 
death in ten years than to let him 
live to old age and then be pen- 
sioned off. 

There were of course exceptions 
to this general rule of insane or 
thoughtless cruelty. Free persons of 
colour were better treated than in the 
British possessions or the French 
colonies. Some of these lived to be 
centenarians. A few Dutch masters 
and mistresses were kind-hearted 
employers and even philanthropists, 
employing their spare money in re- 
deeming slaves that interested them 
or manumitting their own slaves ; 
and it was distinctly easier and cheaper in these Dutch possessions for a slave 
to purchase his freedom or to be redeemed than in the British American 
dominions of the eighteenth century. 

Here is the portrait of a typical Dutch planter-magnate of Surinam 

1 As late as 1832. 

2 "With some masters their tasks can never be performed, as they must toil on, day and night, even 
Sundays not excepted. I recollect a strong young negro, called Marquis, who had a wife he loved, with 
two fine children ; he laboured hard, and generally finished his task of digging a trench of five hundred 
feet by four o'clock in the afternoon that he might have some time to cultivate his little garden 
and go to catch fish or fowl to support his beloved family : hard did Marquis strive to earn this 
additional pittance ; when his humane master, apprised of his industry, for his encouragement 
informed him that if he could delve five hundred feet by four o'clock, he could certainly finish six 
hundred before sunset ; and this task the unfortunate young man was condemned from that day ever since 
to perform." (Stedman.) 




Hanging them up by a hook to die of thirst and famine 



* 9m 

in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, as delineated by Captain 
Stedman : — 

" A planter in Surinam, when he lives on his estate, gets out of his 
hammock with the rising sun and makes his appearance under the piazza 
of his house, where his coffee is ready waiting for him, which he generally takes 
with his pipe, instead of toast and butter. There he is attended by half a dozen 
of the finest young slaves, both male and female, of the plantation to serve 
him ; in this sanctum sanctorum he is next accosted by his overseer, who 
regularly every morning attends at his levee, and having made his bows at 
several yards' distance with the most profound respect, informs his Greatness 1 
what work was done the day before ; what negroes deserted, died, fell sick, 
recovered, were bought or born ; and 

above all things which of them neg- ^*m\ 

lected their work, affected sickness, 
or had been drunk or absent. The 
prisoners are generally present, being 
secured by the negro -drivers, and 
instantly tied up to the beams of the 
piazza or a tree, without so much as 
being heard in their own defence, 
when the flogging begins, with men , 
wo men, oT c hil dren; 1 wlThont exce p- 
tion. The instruments of torture on 
These occasions are long hempen 
whips that cut round at every lash 
and crack like pistol-shots, during 
which they (the slaves) alternately 
repeat, ' Dankee, massera' (Thank 
you, master). In the meantime the 
owner stalks up and down with his 
overseer, affecting not so much as to 
hear their cries till they are suffi- 
ciently mangled, when they are un- 
tied and ordered to return to their 
work without so much as a dressing. 

" This ceremony being over, the 
'dressy' negro (a black surgeon) 
comes to make his report; who being 
dismissed with a hearty curse for allowing any slaves to be sick, next there 
makes her appearance a superannuated matron, with all the young negro chil- 
dren of the estate, over whom she is governess ; these being clean-washed in 
the river clap their hands and cheer in chorus, when they are sent away to break- 
fast on a large platter of rice and plantains ; and the levee ends with a low bow 
from the overseer as it began. 

" His worship now saunters forth in his morning dress, which consists of a pair 
of the finest Holland trowsers, white silk stockings, and red or yellow Morocco 
slippers ; the neck of his shirt open and nothing over it, a loose flowing night- 
gown of the finest India chintz excepted. On his head is a cotton night-cap, 
as thin as a cobweb, and over that an enormous beaver hat that protects his 

1 Or Achtbaarheid= Respectability. The full form of address to a planter of good standing was 
Edele Achtbaar Heer (Noble, Respectable Sir) — H. H. J. 





meagre visage from the sun, which is already the colour of mahogany, while his 
whole carcase seldom weighs above eight or ten stone, being generally exhausted 
by the climate and dissipation. To give a more complete idea of this fine 
gentleman I, in the annexed plate, present him to the reader with a pipe in his 
mouth, which almost everywhere accompanies him, and receiving a glass of 

Madeira wine and water from a 
female quadroon slave to refresh him 
during his walk. 

" Having loitered about his estate 
or sometimes ridden on horseback to 
his fields to view his increasing stores, 
he returns about eight o'clock, when 
if he goes abroad, he dresses, but if 
not remains just as he is. Should 
the first take place, having only ex- 
changed his trowsers for a pair of 
thin linen or silk breeches, he sits 
down and holding one foot after the 
other, like a horse going to be shod, 
a negro boy puts on his stockings and 
shoes, which he also buckles, while 
another dresses his hair, his wig, or 
shaves his chin, and a third is fan- 
ning him to keep off the mosquitoes. 
Having now shifted he puts on a thin 
coat and waistcoat, all white ; when 
under an umbrella carried by a black 
boy, he is conducted to his barge 
which is waiting for him with six or 
eight oars, well provided with fruit, 
wine, water, and tobacco, by his over- 
seer, who no sooner has seen him 
depart than he resumes the command 
with the usual insolence of office. But 
should this prince not mean to stir 
from his estate he goes to breakfast 
about ten o'clock, for which a table is 
spread in the large hall, provided with 
a bacon-ham, hung beef, fowls, or 
pigeons broiled; plantains, and sweet 
cassavas roasted ; bread, butter, cheese, etc., with which he drinks strong beer 
and a glass of Madeira, Rhenish, or Mozell wine, while the cringing overseer sits 
at the farther end, keeping his proper distance, both being served by the most 
beautiful slaves that can be selected ; . . . and this is called breaking the poor 
gentleman's fast. 

" After this he takes a book, plays at chess or billiards, entertains himself with 
music, etc., till the heat of the day forces him to return into his cotton hammock 
to enjoy his meridian nap, which he could no more dispense with than a 
Spaniard with his siesta, and in which he rocks to and fro like a performer on 
the slack rope, till he falls asleep, without either bed or covering ; and during 
which time he is fanned by a couple of his black attendants, to keep him cool. 




"About three o'clock he awakes by natural instinct, when having washed 1 
and perfumed himself, he sits down to dinner, attended as at breakfast by his 
deputy governor and sable pages, where nothing is wanting that the world can 
afford in a western climate of meat, fowls, venison, fish, vegetables, fruits, etc., 
and the most exquisite wines are often squandered in profusion ; after this a 
strong cup of coffee and a liqueur finish the repast. 

"At six o'clock he is again waited on by his overseer, attended as in the morn- 
ing by negro-drivers and prisoners when the flogging once more having 
continued for some time and the necessary orders being given for the next 
day's work, the assembly is dismissed and the evening spent with weak punch, 
sangaree, cards, and tobacco. His worship generally begins to yawn about ten 
or eleven o'clock, when he with- 
draws, and is undressed by his 
sooty pages. He then retires to 
rest, where he passes the night 
in the arms of one or other of 
his sable sultanas (for he always 
keeps a seraglio) till about six 
in the morning, when he again 
repairs to his piazza walk, where 
his pipe and coffee are waiting 
for him ; and where with the 
rising sun he begins his round of 
dissipation, like a petty monarch, 
as capricious as he is despotic 
and despicable. 

" Such absolute power indeed 
cannot fail to be peculiarly de- 
lightful to a man, who in all 
probability, in his own country, 
Europe, was a — nothing." 

Captain Stedman goes on to 
relate that when, from accumu- 
lated miseries, disease, melan- 
choly, or home-sickness slaves 
became unfit for work, the 
plantation owner or manager 
decided to put them to death ; and to avoid incurring the penalty of fifty 
pounds which might be inflicted if by chance any white man testified to 
such an action, they had various ingenious ways of getting rid of the slaves 
they wished to kill. One would be to take the slave out to shoot game 
and " accidentally " put a bullet through him ; another, to fasten the slave to a 
stake in an open plain under the burning sun, and supply him (or her) "with 
one gill of water and one plaintain a day " till the slave dies of hunger or sun- 
stroke; or to fasten him (or her) naked to a tree in the forest with arms and 
neck extended under pretence of stretching the limbs. Here the slave is 
regularly fed, but is actually stung to death by mosquitoes and ants. Or 
unwanted slaves can be drowned "accidentally." One Dutch woman-owner of 
slaves used to fasten any one or two she did not want and could not sell inside 

1 The utmost washing these gentlemen underwent (we are told in other works) was having water 
poured over their faces and hands. — H. H. J. 



I 20 


a square of piled-up faggots. These were set fire to as though by accident and 
the slaves consumed in the flames. 

" As to the breaking of their teeth, merely for tasting the sugar-cane 
cultivated by themselves, slitting up their noses and cutting off their ears 
from private pique, these are accounted mere sport and not worthy to be 
mentioned." x 

In fact, in Dutch Guiana during the eighteenth century, as in South 
Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee during the nineteenth century, slaves in their 
desperation often committed suicide to escape unendurable tortures. They 

would leap into the cauldrons of 
boiling sugar, drown themselves, 
take poison, or throw themselves 
from a height. 

Sometimes they would take re- 
venge on their cruel owners before 
killing themselves. A case is quoted 
by Stedman of a negro who had 
been very badly treated by his 
master. The latter went away on 
a short journey with his wife, and 
on his return found that the negro 
had shut himself up in his owners' 
dwelling-house together with their 
three young Dutch children. Seeing 
his master and mistress approach, 
the negro ascended to the roof of the 
house with the children, whom he 
threw over one by one on to the 
pavement below, flinging himself 
over the parapet immediately after- 
wards, all four having their skulls 
smashed in front of the horrified 
Dutch couple. Another negro, whose 
wife had been taken from him and 
sold by the wife of his Dutch owner, 
shot the owner (against whom he 
had no grievance) and before shoot- 
ing himself said to the widow, " I 
thought if I killed you, your suffering 
would be at an end ; whereas if I killed your husband whom you love, you 
would suffer as I have done in losing my wife." 

It may be imagined that this bad treatment of the slaves — which seems to 
have commenced so far as the Dutch were concerned from about 1650 — was the 
cause of many of them deserting and taking refuge with the Bush negroes. 
This was certainly the case down to the middle of the eighteenth century. But 
this was not so after 1761, and still more after 1786, when agreements and 
treaties were entered into with the Bush negroes similar to those made between 
the British and the Maroons of Jamaica. Under these arrangements runaway 
slaves were sometimes returned to their Dutch masters to suffer horrible 
tortures and finally death. 

1 Captain J. G. Stedman. 


This corps of about 800 Dutch, Swiss, British and Germans 
was employed against the Bush negroes of Guiana 



In those plantations or estates where the negroes were well treated 1 a 
pleasant picture has been drawn by Captain Stedman. 

Under a mild master and an honest overseer, a negro's labour is no more than a 
healthy exercise which ends at the setting sun. The remaining time is his own, which 
he employs in hunting, fishing, cultivating his garden, or making baskets and fish nets 
for sale ; with this money he buys a hog or two, sometimes fowls or ducks, all of which 
he fattens upon the spontaneous growth of the soil, without expense and very little 
trouble, and, in the end, they afford him considerable profit. Thus pleasantly situated, 
he is exempt from every anxiety, and pays no taxes, but looks up to his master as the 
only protector of him and his family. He adores him, not from fear, but from a convic- 
tion that he is indebted to his goodness for all the comforts he enjoys. He breathes in 
a luxurious, warm climate, like his own, which renders clothes unnecessary, and he finds 
himself more healthy, as well as more at his ease, by going naked. His house he may 
build after his own fancy. The forest affords him every necessary material for the 

An important street in Paramaribo 

cutting. His bed is a hammock, or a matting called papaya. His pots he manufactures 
himself, and his dishes are gourds, which grow in his garden. He never lives with a 
wife he does not love, exchanging for another the moment either he or she becomes 
tired, though this separation happens less frequently here than divorces do in Europe. 
Besides the regular allowance given him by his master weekly, his female friend has the 
art of making many savoury dishes, such as bra/, or hodge-podge of plantains and yams 
boiled with salt meat, barbacued fish, and Cayenne pepper. Tom-tom is a very good 
pudding, composed of the flour of Indian corn, boiled with flesh, fowl, fish, Cayenne 
pepper, and the young pods of the ocro or althea plant. Pepper-pot is a dish of boiled 

1 Not all the masters of slaves were monsters of iniquity, and one or two cruel slave-owners were Scotch- 
men, for there were quite a number of Scotch settlers, or officials in the Dutch service, in Guiana during 
the eighteenth century. On the other hand, some of the kindly and even benevolent slave-owners were 
British Americans who settled in Guiana under the Dutch flag both before and after the American 
Revolt against Great Britain. Some of the higher Dutch officials, owing allegiance rather to the States- 
General or their nomination to the Stadhouder (Prince of Orange) than to the Dutch Chartered Company 
which administered the Guiana settlements down to 1792, were men of kindly disposition who frequently 
attempted to better the condition of the slaves. On the other hand, the spirit animating the Chartered 
Company was usually pitiless to the last degree. The general condition of the slaves, it is true, improved 
after 1786, when peace was finally made with the Bush negroes, and through the influence of the Prince 
of Orange, who received and conversed with representatives of the Bush negroes. 



fish and capsicum, eaten with the roasted plantains. Gangotay is made of dried, and 
afofoo of green plantains. Acanfa and doquenoo are composed of the flour of maize, and 
the latter is eaten with molasses. His common drink is the limpid stream, sometimes 
corrected by a little rum. If he is accidentally wounded or indisposed, he is cured for 
nothing ; but it is very seldom he troubles the faculty, being tolerably skilled in herbs 
and simples, besides scarifying and puckering the skin, which serves instead of bleeding. 
The inconvenience of vermin he remedies with a comb, by plaistering up his hair with 
clay, which being dried on the head, and then washed with soap and water, makes him 
clean beyond conception ; his teeth are constantly kept as white as ivory ; for this pur- 
pose he uses nothing but a sprig of orange-tree, bitten at one end, until the fibres 
resemble a small brush ; and no negro, male or female, is to be seen without this little 
instrument, which has besides the virtue of sweetening the breath. 

So much for his body ; and with regard to his soul, he is seldom troubled with qualms 
of conscience, or fear of death, as I have stated, being firm and unshaken in what he 
was taught to believe, which is indeed little, but plain ; and when he is no more, his 

An important town in Western Surinam, Dutch Guiana 

companions or relatives carry him to some grove of orange-trees, where he is not interred 
without expense, being generally put in a coffin of the very best wood and workmanship, 
while the cries and lamentations of his surviving friends, who sing a dirge, pierce the 
sky. The grave being filled up, and a green turf neatly spread over it, a couple of large 
gourds are put by the side, the one with water, the other with boiled fowls, pork, cassava, 
etc., as a libation, not from a superstitious notion, as some believe, that he will eat or 
drink it, but as a testimony of that regard which they have for his memory and ashes ; 
while some even add the little furniture that he left behind, breaking it in pieces over 
the grave. This done, every one takes his last farewell, speaking to him as if alive, and 
testifying their sorrow at his departure ; adding, that they hope to see him, not in 
Guinea, as some have written, but in that better place, where he now enjoys the plea- 
sant company of his parents, friends, and ancestors ; when another dismal yell ends the 
ceremony, and all return home. 

The Bush negroes, or " Bosch negers " of the Dutch, were derived, in part, 
from the ex-slaves of the English, abandoned on the Guiana coast or along the 
rivers of Guiana, when the British by degrees were expelled or withdrew from 
this region. These English-speaking negroes greatly disliked their new Dutch 
masters, and fled from them into the trackless forests of the interior, where they 
maintained themselves without much difficulty so far as the indigenous Amer- 



indians were concerned. Except in regard to the coast tribes of Caribs, 
the Amerindians of all Guiana were a gentle, peaceable race, very well inclined 
towards the white man, not liking the negro (nor mingling their blood much 
with his), but, on the other hand, no match for him as warriors. The Bush 
negroes when hard-pressed by the Dutch settlers or their Indian allies, would 
take refuge within the limits of French or Spanish Guiana. With the French 
they were much associated, and when the French forces invaded the Surinam 
territories in 1711-12 under Cassard, all the Dutch slaves that could manage to 


escape joined the Bush negroes and with them assisted the French forces 
to inflict the most damaging attack on the Dutch settlements, many of which 
were thus destroyed. 

From 171 5 to 1775 there was an almost unending warfare between the 
Dutch, the Bush negroes, or their own slaves for the time being. There was a 
great rising of ill-used slaves on the Upper Surinam River in 1730, beginning on 
one of the plantations of the Chartered Company. This war, which extended 
to fighting with the already emancipated Bush negroes, did not come to a close 
till 1749, when a formal treaty was made in the name of the Dutch Govern- 
ment with 1600 victorious negroes. These 1600 (it is observed by W. G- 




Palgrave 1 ) scrupulously observed the conditions of their treaty afterwards ; but 

many of the revolted slaves joined with other bands of Bush negroes and 

retreated to the forests at the head-waters 
of the River Komowain (Commowijne). 
Here they defied the Dutch under a 
leader named Sam-sam. 

In 1757 Sam-sam was succeeded by 
a Muhammadan negro named Arabi, 
who may quite possibly have come from 
the Northern Senegal coast' 2 and have 
been of half Moorish or Arab extrac- 
tion. So considerable was the influence 
gained by Arabi and his victories over 
the Dutch troops, that he might have 
succeeded, had he desired, in over- 
whelming and destroying the white 
settlers throughout this region, but he 
chose instead to open negotiations for 
permanent peace with the Company's 
Government, and succeeded in obtaining 

for himself and his followers not only liberty and independence, but also a 

considerable tract of territory stretching » 

between the Cottica and Commowijne 

Rivers on the west and the French fron- 
tier at the great Marowain (Maroweyn) 

River on the east. This important group 

of Bush negroes was henceforth known 

as the Auka, or, in the old Dutch spelling, 

the Oucans, from the fact that the treaty 

of peace between them and the Dutch 

was signed in 1761 at a plantation called 

Auka (Ouca) in the Upper Surinam 

River. Immediately after this, the run- 
away negroes (mostly from the Luango 

coast) who had settled along the banks 

of the Upper Saramaka River, also arose 

in rebellion and obtained peace from the 

Dutch Governor on similar terms to those 

accorded to the Aukans. In this way 

the immediate hinterland of the Surinam 

settlements was secured, so far as hostility 

from the Bush negroes was concerned, 

between the Korantain or Corantyn River 

on the west and the Maroweyn (French 

frontier) on the east. In what is now 9 " 

British Guiana — then the Dutch settlements of Berbice, Demerara, and 

Essequibo, there was no very great development of Dutch interests and 


1 Dutch Guiana, London, 1876. 

2 There were many " Poregoedoc " (Poregudok) negroes or negroids in Dutch Guiana who seem to 
have been derived from the Dutch trading stations of Goree and Arguin, north and south of the Senegal. 
Poregudok probably = Portendik. 



prosperity, and no particular need to take action against such runaway negroes 
as had escaped from the settlements to the interior. 

But in 1763 nearly all the slaves of the coast region revolted against their 
masters, and for a time almost the only places in Dutch hands were the capital, 
Paramaribo, and the plantation of Dagerrad. The Bush negroes of the interior 
held fast to their treaty engagements and gave no aid to revolted slaves, who 
were led by two able chiefs, Bonni and Baron, who established their head- 
quarters on the Maroweyn River, from which they obviously received succour 
at the hands of the French settlers of Cayenne. In 1770 the Dutch Governor, 
Louis Nepveu, organised a corps of enfranchised negroes under a Dutch 
officer, Colonel Stoelman. These " Bonni" negroes, as they came to be called, 
were tackled with desperate determina- 
tion by the Government of the Dutch 
Company in 1773. In addition to the 
negro corps already organised, the Com- 
pany obtained from Holland eight hun- 
dred soldiers — Dutch, Scottish, English, 
German, and Swiss, under the command 
of a Swiss officer, Colonel Fourgeoud. 
This was the expedition accompanied, 
as one of its officers, by Captain J. G. 
Stedman, the Englishman who wrote 
such a vivid account of Dutch Guiana 
on his return to England at the close of 
the eighteenth century. Though the 
Bonni negroes fought desperately, they 
had at last to acknowledge themselves 
defeated. Bonni himself took up his 
residence with some of his followers in 
the French colony of Cayenne ; but the 
greater number of the insurgents made 
terms with the Dutch and settled down 

the interior regions between the 





Maroweyn and Surinam Rivers. Their 
descendants either still exist under the 
clan name of Bonni (derived from the 
now-British settlement of Bonny or 
Obani, in the Niger delta), or have fused 
with another clan known as Musinga, 1 or Bekau (also called Matrokan). 

By 1786 all warfare was over between the Dutch and the Bush negroes, and 
by 1792 the Government of the Chartered Company was replaced by the direct 
rule of the States-General, a rule which was to last four years before the British 
swooped on this country, and during those four years to effect great improve- 
ment in the condition of such negroes as remained in slavery. As to the Bush 
negroes, they were so completely satisfied with their treatment once peace was 
concluded with the Dutch, that they fought bravely and determinedly against 
both French and British to save Guiana for the Dutch nation. In 18 14 the 
Netherlands definitely lost the larger western half of Guiana' 2 to Great Britain, 

1 These seem to have been Gold Coast negroes. 

2 This had always been much less "Dutch" than the Surinam region, east of the Corantyn River. 
Many British and a few French planters were settled at Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo. 



who had occupied all the coast region of this great province at intervals since 
178 1, and who in 18 14 restored Surinam to the Dutch but purchased what is 
now British Guiana. Great Britain abolished the slave-trade in all this region 
in 1807, but the Dutch Government did not condemn the slave-trade until 1814 
nor abolish slavery in Surinam and the Dutch West India Islands until 1863. 
The retention of slavery in this colony when in the adjoining British possession 
steps were being taken to give freedom to the blacks caused great discontent to 
arise among the Surinam negroes in 1832, and an insurrection of slaves in that 

year resulted in the capital, 
Paramaribo, being partially de- 
stroyed by fire. The reprisals 
were savage : negroes identified 
as incendiaries being burnt alive 
in public. 

In 1845 the colony of Surinam 
was separated from that of the 
Dutch West Indies, and in the 
same year came out a Dutch 
Governor of Surinam — Baron 
van Raders — who remodelled 
the administration of the colony, 
improved the treatment of the 
slaves, and declared the ports 
open to the commerce of the 
whole world without discrimina- 
tion. After careful preparations 
slavery was declared at an end 
in 1863, about the time when 
in spite of free trade the affairs 
of Surinam had reached the 
lowest depth of depression. But 
instead of growing worse after 
abolition they began slowly to 

The political constitution was 
changed in 1865 to what it now 
is. There is a House of Assembly, 
of which four members are nomi- 
nated by the Sovereign, and the 
remainder — from five to nine — 
are elected by the people on a 
low property franchise, open to all citizens, without distinction of race or colour. 
But the powers of this House are only deliberative. It cannot initiate legisla- 
tion, and the Governor if he wishes may pass a law over the head of its adverse 
vote, but in so doing must furnish the Assembly with his reasons in writing. 
Such as it is, the constitution appears to give complete satisfaction to the multi- 
coloured inhabitants of this Dutch State. 

East Indian kulis were introduced into Surinam in 1873 and now number 
nearly 20,000. Their advent, as elsewhere in tropical America, has been a 
great boon. It has enabled the European capitalist to carry on his productive 
planting work and has put the local negro on his mettle. The Surinam 



Accompanied by his two ministers or " adjutanten," Dutch Guiana 



negroes imitate the East Indians in many things, even if there is no inter- 
mingling of races. 

There are some 400 Chinese ; the whites number about 2500, including the 
Dutch soldiers, sailors and officials, and 1050 Jews. The settled negroes and 
half-castes amount to about 55,000 and the Bush negroes to nearly 30,000. 
The Amerindians have diminished much since the eighteenth century owing to 
alcoholism and small-pox. There may be as many as 4000 left in the far interior 


Worshipped or respected by peasant- or Bush-negroes in the West Indies 
and South America 

of Dutch Guiana. They are being pushed into Brazilian territory by the vigorous 
Bush negroes. 

These latter are aptly described by W. G. Palgrave 1 as " ranking among the 
best specimens of the Ethiopian type. The men are often six feet and more in 
height, with well-developed limbs and pleasing open countenance ; and the 
women in every physical respect are, to say the least, worthy of their mates. 
Ill-modelled limbs are in fact as rare among them as they are common 
among some lighter-complexioned races. Their skin colour is in general very 
dark, and gives no token of the gradual tendency to assume a fairer tint that 

1 Dutch Guiana, London, 1876. 



may be observed among the descendants of negroes residing in more northern 
climes. Their hair, too, is as curly as that of any Nyam-nyam or Darfuri chief, 
or native of Senegal." 

The Bush negroes are free from taxation, and govern themselves under 
their own head-men and chiefs, the more important of whom receive investiture 
from the Governor at Paramaribo. The jargon they talk — which is corrupt 
English mixed with Portuguese, French, and a little Dutch — is gradually 
giving way to Dutch amongst those who go to work in or who frequent the 
white man's towns and settlements. But it is doubtful whether Dutch will 
ever be popular as the speech of negroes whose ancestors came from Equa- 


torial Africa and used many broad, distinct vowels and (ordinarily) no faucal 
gutturals or abruptly collocated consonants. 

The ancestors of the Bush negroes were scarcely Christians, for at the time 
they escaped from servitude the Moravian missionaries had not got to work in 
Guiana. Some, however, escaping from Brazil, brought distorted fragments of 
Christian beliefs. A few were Muhammadans by tradition ; and an attenuated 
belief in sorcery remained everywhere amongst them. 

But except for notions of a curious trinity of two gods and a goddess, 
obviously derived from Christianity, they are — or were until the Moravian 
Brethren settled amongst them in the nineteenth century — pagans ; and 
worshipped a number of divinities, such as Gran Gado (the " great God "), 
Jesi Kist, Maria (a goddess), Ampuka, or Amuku, or Banko — the god of the 
forest, usually worshipped in the form of a tall ceiba or silk cotton tree 
(Bombax) — Buemba, or Toni, the god of water, and Hiari, a demon, associated 
with poisonous trees. 1 

1 Much information regarding the Bosch-negers, their habits, customs, beliefs, and language, is 
given in the works of the Moravian Brethren, published at Herrnhut, Moravia — such as Die Busch- 
fieger Surinatnes, by H. G. Schneider, Herrnhut, 1893 ; Bij de Indianen en Bosch-negers van Suri- 



Dutch Guiana (and for the matter of that, the Dutch West India Islands), 
which began in the seventeenth century by being a hell for the negro slave, has 
ended in becoming, at the commencement of the twentieth century, a negro 
paradise. " The combined discipline of Dutch rule and Moravian teachership 
have trained the African native into the Surinam creole, the cannibals of the 
Gaboon into the peasants of Munnickendam." 1 The teaching and example of 
the missionaries have checked the excessive licentiousness of the once-savage 
Bush negroes; their marital unions are more regular (as are those of the 
civilised negroes), and in consequence their families of children are larger and 
the infant mortality is less. Nor are the Moravians the only agency for good : 
there are the Roman Catholic schools and institutes, and some fifteen thousand 
of the negro and negroid population of the Dutch colony belong to that 
Church. The Dutch Government has set on foot practical tuition in agriculture 
and horticulture ; and in many ways the Surinam negro is rising in the social 
scale : and as he rises he finds in the men who come and go from the Nether- 
lands none of that morgue, that quiet (and consequently more unbearable) 
insolence of disdain which occasionally checks the loyalty of the negro or the 
negroid towards the colonial administration of the Anglo-Saxon. 

name, De Binnenlanden van het district Nickerie (Suriname), and other works by Dr. H. van Cappelle, 
published in the Netherlands between 1903 and 190S. Dr. H. van Cappelle's writings give valuable 
bibliographical references as well as much original information on the Bush negroes and Amerindians 
of Dutch Guiana. 
1 Palgrave. 



THE Norman French of Dieppe are said to have been the first European 
people to trade with the West African coast. According to the stories 
and traditions gathered into a book by Villault de Bellefonds (in 1666), 
between the years 1339 and 141 2 French ships from the Norman ports had 
visited most parts of the West African littoral from the Senegal River to the 
Gold Coast. 1 Their inducement was the trade in ivory and gold. Negro slaves 
were not thought of in those days. 

The French also were the first of the European nations to attack the 
Iberian monopoly of commerce with the New World. Their assaults on the 
Spanish settlements in Mexico and Cuba, their attempts to colonise Florida 
and Brazil in the middle of the sixteenth century, are enumerated on pages 
53 and 78. For the remainder of that century they were too much occupied 
with domestic feuds to give much thought to America. But when Henri 
Quatre was well seated on his throne, charters were given to explorers and 
officials who laid the foundation of Canada and visited the coast of Guiana 
(in 1604). 

In 1617 there was formed in France a company of adventurers to explore 
the " Isles of America," and its agents prospected the Guiana rivers and visited 
the Lesser Antilles, then abandoned by the Spaniards and peopled by fierce 
Caribs. Through the patronage of Richelieu, Louis XIII granted a charter to 
the Compagnie des lies d'Amerique in 1625, and by 1626 its agent, d'Esnambuc, 
had secured, by arrangement with the English, half the island of St. Christopher. 
By 1635 the French Company had occupied Guadeloupe, Martinique, and 
St. Lucia, after several repulses and much hand-to-hand fighting with the 
Caribs, whom in these three islands they exterminated. By the year 1648 
they had also acquired the island of Grenada. 

In 1626 a small body of Norman traders from Rouen settled at the mouth 
of the Sinnamary River in what is now French Guiana; and in 1634 other 
Normans founded the town of Cayenne, on an island at the mouth of a small 
river (Cayenne is but the French rendering of the widespread Amerindian 
geographical term " Guiana " or " Guayana "). 

Between 1643 ar, d 1652 three Norman companies were founded to develop 
Guiana, which was then called " La France Equinoxiale." They all failed, and 
between 1650 and 1664 Cayenne was occupied by the Dutch. 

But in 1664 a chartered Compagnie des Indes Occidentales was formed 
under the patronage of Colbert, and entrusted with the management of the 

1 This theory of the early voyages of the Dieppois ships to West Africa is very strongly combated by 
C. Raymond Beazley in his Dawn of Modern Geography, Vol. II. It has been equally strongly upheld 
in the recent writings (1905-6) of Mons. L. Binger, the great French explorer and administrator. 



l 3 1 

French West India Islands (including Montserrat), and with the Guiana settle- 
ments. In 1674 this company was dissolved, and all its possessions were 
placed under the control of the French Crown. 

Great activity was now displayed by the French Government in encouraging 
the emigration of French settlers to French America, which gradually spread 
from the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes down the Missouri and Mississippi 
to the Gulf of Mexico, included much of Western Hispaniola, part of St. Chris- 
topher and St. Martin, the islet of St. Bartholomew, Guadeloupe, Martinique, 
St. Lucia, Grenada, and the eastern part of Guiana. Dominica, St. Vincent, 
and sometimes St. Lucia and Tobago, were, in times of lassitude — weariness of 

Founded by the French about 1674 

war with the doggedly-fighting Caribs, or the persistent British Navy — set 
aside as " neutral," a neutrality which was merely regarded by both Britain and 
France as a breathing-space during which " unauthorised " colonists of both 
nations settled on these disputed lands. Still, through treating the Caribs 
and the negro slaves more sympathetically, French influence became so pro- 
foundly implanted in Dominica, St. Lucia, and even St. Vincent, that the 
Caribs of the eighteenth century and the negroes of to-day might well have 
been French subjects, judged by language, religion, and sympathies. And all 
the geographical features of the Windward and most of the Leeward Islands 
bear French names. 

During all the seventeenth century the French were justifying their appear- 
ance in the Antilles by their vigorous encouragement of tropical agriculture. 
Owing to their connection with Guiana and attempts at seizing portions of 



Brazil, they were able to bring to their West India islands various useful plants 
and trees. Further, they imported roe-deer and peacocks from France and let 
them loose on Martinique and Guadeloupe, from which islands they were trans- 
ported to Haiti, Cuba, and many other parts of the Antilles. The roe-deer now 
running wild in Cuba, Haiti, and one or two of the Lesser Antilles are derived 
from the stock imported from France in the seventeenth century ; so are the 
wild peacocks of Haiti and Antigua. 

The first idea of the adventurer-concessionnaires, the noblemen-pro- 
prietors, or of the chartered companies when they got hold of the Antilles 

or of Guiana was colonisation 
by Europeans, and Europeans 
who would devote themselves to 
agriculture and stock - rearing. 
Difference of climatic conditions 
had hardly been realised ; and 
perhaps to men and women com- 
ing from sunny France, agricul- 
tural work on a breezy West 
India islet seemed not beyond 
their strength. But the first 
colonists of the French islands 
were Normans, Bretons, and 
people from the west of France ; 
Flemings and Picards, later on 
Rhenish Germans and Alsatians : 
men and women of the Nordic 
race, who were well able to fight 
or to sail ships, to carry on shel- 
tered industries or trades, but 
who could not bend their backs 
to tillage without getting sun- 
stroke and fever. Some came at 
their own expense and received 
grants of land ; others were ap- 
prentices who for the cost of their 
voyage and a very poor annual 
salary bound themselves as con- 
tracted labourers for a term of 
three years. During this term 
of apprenticeship they were little 
better than slaves, but at the end of their three years they received small grants 
of land. 

But for sugar-planting and all forms of tropical agriculture they were no 
use, and as early as 1642-5, at the beginning of the sugar and coffee boom, 
negroes were introduced into Martinique to work on the plantations. By 
1645 tne trade in slaves with the French West Indies and Guiana was in 
full swing. 

The plantations of Cayenne (Guiana) were cultivated during the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries by a few negro slaves obtained from the Dutch 
and Portuguese ; by such of the Amerindians as could be induced by the 
Jesuit missionaries to settle down to agriculture ; and above all by French 




colonists. 1 French Guiana made no great demands on the Slave-trade until 
the early nineteenth century. 2 It was to St. Christopher, Haiti, Martinique, 
Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, and Trinidad 3 that the French 
despatched the negroes they obtained from Africa : as also to Louisiana, 
which colony along the lower course and delta of the Mississippi (and the 
adjoining territory of Alabama) was founded by the French in 1700-18. 

Though possibly the first of European nations to visit the west coast 
of Africa, the French were practically the last to establish slave-trading depots 
there. The ships of Dieppe and Havre, of Nantes and Bordeaux began to 
trade at and examine the Senegal River early in the seventeenth century — from 
1604 to 1637 — but no real settlement of a lasting character was made in this 
region till the founding of Fort St. Louis du Senegal in 1662. This became the 
head-quarters of the French West African slave-trade, and to it were added in 
1677-8 the Dutch possessions of Rufisque, Portudal, Joal, and Goree Island (off 
the modern Dakar) between Cape Verde and the Gambia; and in 1717-24, 
Portendic and Arguin Island off the Sahara coast. During the eighteenth 
century the French ships traded for slaves with Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Ivory 
Coast, and Dahome ; 4 and the Loango coast immediately north of the Congo 
mouth. This last region indeed became so important as a slave-recruiting 
ground for Saint Domingue (Haiti) that the Portuguese were sternly warned off 
it at a time (1786) when they had thought of bringing it under the Government 
of Angola. 

Owing to the frequent wars with the British during the close of the seven- 
teenth and greater part of the eighteenth centuries, the direct French slave- 
trade from Africa — especially Senegal — was much interfered with ; and a good 
deal of the slave-supply to the French West Indian Islands, Haiti, and Louisi- 
ana was undertaken by the Dutch, Danes, and Portuguese. Nevertheless in 
1701 the Spanish Government passed on the Asiento Contract to the French 

1 From 1674 to the middle of the eighteenth century was the golden age of French American 
colonisation, and of Cayenne in particular. The adjoining Dutch colony of Surinam was several times 
overwhelmed, and many of the revolted Dutch negroes joined the French as free fighting men and assisted 
to open up the forests of the interior. But " La France Equinoctiale " was still thought a possible home 
for a European population. In 1763, the prime minister, the Due de Choiseul, obtained for himself and 
a relation, the Due de Praslin, a concession of the country between the rivers Kuru and Maroni 
(Maroweyn), in Western Guiana. They then sent out some 12, coo colonists from Alsace-Lorraine, who 
were landed at the mouth of the Kuru, in a swamp where even fresh water was lacking ! It was the 
rainy season of the year, no waterproof dwellings were ready to receive the settlers, and many of the 
necessaries of life in the tropics were wanting ; although, mirabile dittn! a supply of skates was sent out 
amongst the equipment deemed necessary for Guiana colonists. No doubt the ignorant bureaucrats who 
organised the expedition confused Guiana with " les quelques arpents de neige," Canada. By 1765 only 
918 of the Alsatian colonists were living. In spite of this disaster other attempts at French colonisation 
were made between 1784 and 1788. In the Revolutionary period and under Napoleon many political 
offenders were sent here, in most cases to die. Six hundred Royalists were landed at Sinnamary in 1796 
and in a few weeks four hundred of them were dead. Not that the climate of Guiana or any other part 
of Equatorial America is so deadly, but that the white man requires to be most carefully screened from 
sun, rain, cold sea-breeze, and damp ; and at the same time to obtain good and suitable food. 

2 Lafayette, the hero of French intervention in the North American rebellion, and a great Anti-slavery 
champion in France between 1790 and 1793, possessed a large plantation near Cayenne which was worked 
by negro slaves. These slaves (according to Bryan Edwards in his History of the West Indies) Lafayette 
sold to the number of seventy in 1789 " without scruple or stipulation," not even giving them a chance to 
purchase their own freedom. 

3 Trinidad was almost a French colony (under a Spanish Governor) from 17S3 to 1797. Creole 
French is still the most widely spoken language in that island among the negroes of the countryside. 

4 Dahome through Hwida (Whydah, Ajuda) sent many slaves to the French and British West Indies, 
especially from its western frontiers from the " Popo " (often pronounced and written " Pawpaw ") country. 
From this region came the ancestors of Toussaint Louverture and President Barclay of Liberia. In the 
eighteenth century Dahome was written on the French maps " Dauma," which no doubt is the right 


" Royal Senegal Company," in whose slave-trade enterprise Louis XIV (uncon- 
sciously copying in this the English queens Elizabeth and Anne) held a large 
number of shares. 

It was the possession of St. Domingue (Haiti) 1 however that involved 
France most deeply in the slave-trade and in the condition and history of the 
Negro in the New World : to an extent more important in its ultimate effects 
than the operations of any other European Power save only Britain and her 
daughter, the United States. France was the first nation to ridicule the idea 
of an Hispano-Portuguese monopoly of the New World. England was a good 
second ; and in these splendid piracies the seamen of Southern and Western 
England and of Northern and Western France often acted in union and partner- 
ship. Together they had got hold of the island of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) in 
1625, at a time when many of the smaller Antillean and Bahaman islands were 
to be had for the taking 2 or at worst a tussle with the Caribs. A Spanish naval 
force descended on St. Christopher in 1629 and drove out nearly all the French 
and English pirate-settlers. These smoked-out hornets circled round several 
likely points of vantage (such as Antigua) and finally established themselves on 
the island of Tortuga, off the north-west coast of Haiti. 

There were Dutchmen and North Germans at first, as well as English and 
French, among these West Indian pirates; and to this mixture we owe the few r 
Dutch words in the vocabulary of negro seamen in the West Indies and in the 
Negro patois of Haiti, besides the term "freebooter" applied alternately with 
" buccaneer " to the settlers of Tortuga. [" Freebooter " comes from the Dutch 
vrijbuiter, "free plunderer," and was corrupted by the Spaniards into filibuster 
and the French into fiibustier.] The Dutch buccaneers of Tortuga chiefly came 
from the island of Santa Cruz, whence they had been ejected by the Spaniards. 

From Tortuga the pirates were wont to resort to the opposite coast of Haiti 
to kill the wild oxen which were the descendants of the cattle introduced into 

1 It may be convenient at this stage (at the risk of repetition) to explain the nomenclature of this 
French possession. The whole island was called " Espanola " or "Little Spain" by Columbus (who 
spelt the word in semi-Italian fashion, " Espagnola "). He had previously applied to it the Amerindian 
names of Bohio (really meaning a village or settlement) or Babeque. He landed first at the north-western 
extremity (Mole St. Nicholas), December 6th, 1492. This western part of the island was called by the 
natives Haiti or "the mountainous country," and the whole island seems to have been known by these 
Arawaks as Kiskika (Quisquica) or the " vast country," or, as some wrote it, Qitisqiteya. 

Later on Espanola was latinised into Hispaniola ; and this word remains to this day the most con- 
venient general name for the whole island. In 1494 Columbus's brother, Bartolomeo, founded a new 
capital for the Spanish colony, in place of the unhealthy " Isabella" which Christopher had established in 
the previous year on the north coast of the island, at the mouth of the little river Bahabonito. This new 
capital was named at first " Nueva Isabella," but after Columbus visited it in 1498 he changed the name 
to "Santo Domingo," to commemorate the patron saint of his father, Dominico Colombo. After 
Columbus left the place its site was changed from the east to the west side of the River Ozama. Gradu- 
ally Spanish interest in this neglected island centred round its capital city, and the name Hispaniola was 
forgotten except by pedants, and Santo Domingo adopted instead. From this arose the French render- 
ing St. Domingue, which was applied to what we now call Haiti until 1S04. But it is interesting to note 
that the Amerindian name Haiti, proper to Western Hispaniola, was preserved by the negro slaves, who 
no doubt had picked it up from the last of the Arawaks, with whom their runaways sought refuge. 
Already in the latter part of the eighteenth century Haiti was once more in use for North-Western St. 
Domingue, and after 1804 it was adopted as the official name of the Negro republic. Santo Domingo or 
La Republica Dominicana is the official designation of the Spanish part of Hispaniola. 

2 The explanation of the apparent indifference which Spain at first showed to the doings of British, 
French, and Dutch in the Lesser Antilles lay in the fact that finding no minerals of value in these 
smaller islands and having almost entirely denuded them of Amerindian inhabitants (to supply the planta- 
tions and mines of Cuba, Porto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica with Arawak and Lucayan slaves), she 
had completely abandoned them and only awoke to their strategic importance when they became the 
homes of pirates. 



Hispaniola by the Spaniards. Many herds of these had made their way to the 
depopulated western portion of the great island. To dry the beef of these slain 
cattle they erected wooden frameworks from which the chunks of meat were 
suspended over a fire. Such arrangements were called Boucan} the users of 
them, who made a profitable commerce of this grilled or smoked beef, were 
nicknamed boucaniers, or buccaneers. Gradually the French 2 preponderated in 
the community of buccaneers which had its head-quarters on Tortuga (in fact, 
in 1 64 1 the island was declared to be French territory and the English were 
driven out), and by 1663 the French King had definitely extended his protection 
to the north coast of Haiti and had placed it under the control of a French 
commandant (Deschamps-de-la-place). 

By 1680 the Spaniards had commenced to recognise the principle of divid- 
ing the island of Hispaniola with France. It was not till 1777, however, that a 
definite treaty fixed the limits between the French and the Spanish portions of 
Hispaniola (Santo Domingo). The full authority of France over this colony 
was thus not completely deter- 
mined until less than twenty 
years before the loss of it by the 
negro insurrection (1 804-8). 

By 1680, there were quite a 
number of negro slaves in the 
French West Indies, more es- 
pecially in the Lesser Antilles. 
And the French were not chary 
of mingling with the negresses, 
so that the problem of the posi- 
tion of the half-caste — was he 
slave or free? — had already pre- 
sented itself to French legists 
and ecclesiastics. Louis XIV 

and his advisers gave very serious consideration to the whole question of 
negro slaves in America, their condition and prospects, their rights and 
wrongs; and in 1685 promulgated the famous "Code Noir," as the edict was 
commonly called, the most humane legislation in regard to the unhappy negroes 
which had been devised until the repeal of slavery ; and far superior to any 
laws in force in the British slave-holding territories. 

The Edict of 1685 ordained that all slaves should be baptised and instructed 
in the Apostolic Roman Catholic religion ; that slaves should never be called 
upon to work for twenty-four hours, on Sunday, or on any festival of the 
Church ; that free men who had children from their concubinage with women- 
slaves, together with the master of such slaves (if he consented to such con- 
cubinage) should be punished by a fine of two thousand livres of sugar, but if 
the man so erring was himself the master of the slave, then, in addition to the 
fine, the slave-concubine and her children should be taken from him, sold for 
the benefit of the hospital and never be allowed to be freed ; excepting, that is, 
unless the man was not married to another person at the time of his con- 
cubinage, in which case he was to marry the woman slave, who, together with 
her children, should thereby become free. Masters were forbidden to constrain 

1 See note on page 51. Boucan, by George Sylvain, a Haitian writer, is said to have been applied more 
correctly to an underground oven wherein the Caribs baked their meat. 

2 Nearly all Normans or Bretons. 

Descended from the wild oxen possessed by the Buccaneers 



slaves to marry against their will. Children of a slave father and a free mother 
were born free ; of a free father and a slave mother, they were the property of 
the owner of the female slave. Christian slaves were to be buried in consecrated 
ground. Slaves were forbidden to carry arms (except at the command of their 
master), to gather in crowds, to sell sugar-cane (even with their masters' per- 
mission) or anything else without their masters' sanction and knowledge. For 
contravening the regulation as to assembling in crowds they might, if often re- 
peated, be killed. 

They were to be well nourished and clothed at the expense of their masters, 
and if not so treated might complain to a magistrate and the case would be 
inquired into and justice done without expense to the slave. The same course 

would be taken if a slave was cruelly injured 
or abused by his master. Slaves, however, 
were incapable of holding property or of in- 
heriting it. Everything they might acquire 
was the property of their master. They 
could not serve in any public office, act as 
agent for any free man, or be valid witnesses 
in a court of law, civil or criminal. Their 
evidence might be taken down to furnish the 
court with information without (illogically 
enough) the judges drawing therefrom any 
presumption, conjecture, or proof. The 

"Ofek ?v Mi^^ifli ^%^1ill s ^ aves themselves could have no recourse to 

the law (except in regard to complaining of 
their masters' treatment) or seek for repara- 
tion for any outrages or deeds of violence 
committed against them ; but on the other 
hand they could be pursued in justice and 
punished "avec les memes formalities que 
les personnes libres." If a slave struck his 
master, mistress or their children in the face, 
or elsewhere, his blow drawing blood, he 
would be punished with death ; and the same 
sentence was to be inflicted if a slave com- 
mitted a violent assault on any free person. 
Thefts were to be punished with death, brand- 
ing, or whipping; and any loss of property due to a slave's theft was to be 
made good by the slave's master ; failing which the slave became the property 
of the person whose goods had been stolen. Runaway slaves were (after a 
month's absence) to be punished for the first offence by having the ears cut off 
and the shoulder branded with a fieur-de-lys ; for the second offence they were 
branded on the other shoulder and hamstrung (!) ; and the third time they ran 
away they were to be killed. Any freed man who sheltered a fugitive slave 
was fined three hundred pounds of sugar for every day he retained the slave. 
Masters were to be allowed to put a slave in chains and to whip him or her 
with rods (verges), but were forbidden to torture, mutilate, and still more to kill, 
slaves under pain of judicial proceedings and severe penalties. A slave family 
— husband, wife, and children under age — belonging to one master might not be 
sold separately. 

Finally — and for a century, at least, these last provisions of the French Code 



Eighteenth century 



were thought to be inconveniently liberal in the British-American colonies — 
any slave-owner of twenty years old and upwards might during his life or at his 
death give freedom to his slaves without assigning any reason or (if a minor) ask- 
ing the opinion or consent of relations or guardians ; any slave appointed under 
his master s will universal legatee, executor, or guardian of the master's children 
became ipso facto free ; and all slaves once freed — by any process that was lawful 
— had precisely the same position, privileges, and civil rights as any French man or 
woman bom free. 

These last words are important to remember, because in this respect, as in 
others protecting the rights of the negroes or " coloured " people, the " Code 
Noir " was never properly applied in Haiti ; and thus in course of time arose 
the sense of a bitter injustice among the freed men and slaves — near-whites, 
mulattoes, and negroes — of this important 
French colony. 

The Spanish had firmly opposed by 
arms the colonisation of Florida by French 
or British, and had equally stoutly defended 
Mexico ; but their resistance to foreign in- 
trusion between Florida and Texas died 
away during the seventeenth century, and 
the French pioneers coming down from 
Canada in the far north by means of the 
Mississippi and its great affluents (leaving 
ineffaceable evidence of their passage and 
their colossal exploits in the geographical 
names between Chicago and New Orleans) 
took possession of the Mississippi delta in 
1682. In 1700 the colony of Louisiana 
was founded; by 171 1 the French had 
occupied the Alabama coast and com- 
menced to build the town of Mobile. In 
1 7 19 an instalment of five hundred negro 
slaves " from Guinea " was landed at the 
just-commenced settlement of Nouvelle 
Orleans and in 1721 nearly fourteen hun- 
dred more. In 1732, when Louisiana re- 
verted to the Crown of France (these settlements had hitherto been under 
Chartered Companies), there were only two thousand negroes, but thenceforth 
a steady importation went on till 1805, when Louisiana became part of the 
United States, by whom the slave trade had been forbidden. 

France had lost interest in her colonies of New Orleans and Mobile when 
obliged to withdraw from Canada in 1760-3, and so, by a secret arrangement 
transferred Louisiana to Spain (in 1762), and withdrew from Alabama in 
favour of Britain in the following year. Neither the French settlers nor their 
negro slaves approved the transfer to Spain, and managed to stand out against 
it until 1769, in which year Spain took possession with an overwhelming force ; 
and punished severely by many executions the first serious attempt in America 
to dispute the will and disposal of the mother country in Furope. Between 
1770 and 1800, the Spaniards introduced many more negroes (the descendants 
of whom speak Spanish to this day) into Louisiana. Some of them escaped to 
the marshy forests of the south-west and lead still a quasi-wild existence there. 

A French-speaking negress-seamstress in Louisiana 



Although the French flag has not flown over Louisiana or Alabama 
(Mobile) since 1769, except for a few months in 1802-3, the vitality of the 
French tongue, religion, manners, customs, and cookery among the negroes and 


" coloured " people in Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, and the Alabama sea- 
board is remarkable and from many points of view is not to be regretted. 
Whatever they may have done in Haiti, here the French settlers seem to have 
treated their slaves with kindness and to have applied faithfully the Code Noir 
of 1685. 



In Haiti — or Saint Domingue, as the colony was called — French colonisa- 
tion, under the stimulating profits of sugar cultivation, flourished exceedingly 
after the Peace of Ryswick in 1697 had confirmed Louis XIV in the possession 
of Western Hispaniola. But the great "essor" of this remarkable colony dates 
from 1722, when the wisely inspired government of the Regency 1 removed 
certain restrictions imposed on the trade of Saint Domingue with France. Since 
17 1 3 there had been peace with Great Britain ; the seas were safe; the slave - 


recruiting-grounds in Senegambia were organised ; large numbers of colonists 
came from France to Haiti, and there was no stint of negroes to work under 

Perhaps nowhere in America was existence made more delightful for the 
White man ; and this small territory of ten or eleven thousand square miles 
produced during the eighteenth century more sugar, coffee, chocolate, indigo, 

1 Wisely inspired perhaps only in regard to its foreign and colonial policy, in taking broader views of 
which last it owed much to the ideas of the remarkable Scottish adventurer, John Law, who before his 
fall in 1720 had a good deal to do with the development of Louisiana. 



timber, dye-woods, drugs, and spices than all the rest of the West Indies put 
together. But the French seem to have treated their slaves at times with a 
wanton, almost tigerish cruelty which left a deep impression on the Negro 

mind and tradition. Yet 
they were less proud racially 
than the Spaniards and freely 
begat half-breed children 
with their negress - concu- 
bines, thus bringing into 
existence several thousand 
notable mulattoes, quad- 
roons, octoroons, and near- 
whites. 1 By the provisions 
of the Code Noir these half- 
breeds were all practically 
free persons and many of 
them possessed considerable 
property. The more intelli- 
gent and lightest coloured 
were sent to France by their 
French fathers to be educated 
(this in the first half of the 
eighteenth century rather 
than later). 2 

But the intentions of the 
Code Noir were not carried 
out to their logical conclu- 
sion. Though these half- 
castes and " near whites " 
were in the eyes of the 
law free citizens, they were 
frustrated in the exercise of 
their civic rights. 

Before 1744 the position 
of the black and the coloured 
people in Haiti was not so 
bad. 3 Owing to the pro- 
visions of the Code Noir, 
many of the white settlers 
had married their negro 
mistresses and thereby set them and their half-caste children free, some of 
whom had become very wealthy by inheriting the property of their white 

1 Forty thousand in numbers in 1789. 

2 Because of the ferment arising in the minds of the free persons of colour [who went to France for 
their education and then on their return to Haiti began to agitate for the recognition of their civic rights] 
the white planters through their agency or club at Paris brought strong influence to bear on Louis XVI 
to issue an edict forbidding the free men of colour of St. Uomingue to come to France for education or 
for any other purpose. This was done in 1777. 

In vain was it pointed out by those who pleaded the cause of the free mulattoes that the Code Noir of 
Louis XIV, still unrepealed, distinctly proclaimed the complete liberty and "civisme" of all freed slaves. 

3 Nevertheless there were serious slave revolts in 1679, 1691, and 1718. In the middle of the 
eighteenth century there arose a negro named Macandal, who by his clever poisoning of a few white 
planters or officials and numerous negro overseers and guards created quite a panic. 




father. Consequently there were many mulatto heiresses. About 1749 there 
was a great increase in the white emigration from France to Haiti, and a 
large proportion of the immigrants were needy young French women, des filles 
a marier, and without dot. These — and their mothers — were disgusted to find 
they were but little in demand, for the young Frenchmen of St. Domingue 
preferred mulatto girls with large dowries. From this arose a bitter jealousy 
between the white Frenchwomen and their coloured fellow-citizens. The 
prejudice against colour grew in intensity and was rendered more acute when, 
after the Peace of 1763, a large number of mulattoes who had been sent to 
France for their education returned thence to Saint Domingo and wished to 
play a part in the affairs of their own country. 

They — -the mulattoes and octoroons — were then forbidden to hold any 
public office, trust, or employment however insignificant ; they were not even 
allowed to exercise any of those professions to which some sort of liberal 
education is supposed to be necessary. All the com- 
missioned posts in the naval and military departments, 
all degrees in law, physic, and divinity, were appro- 
priated exclusively by the whites. A mulatto could 
not be a priest, a lawyer, a physician, or a surgeon, 
an apothecary, a schoolmaster, or a goldsmith. He 
was not permitted to undertake any public charge 
or commissioned office either in the judiciary or in 
the army ; 1 nor to assume the surname of the white 
man to whom he owed his being.' 2 Neither did the 
distinction of colour terminate, as in the British West 
Indies, with the third generation. The privileges of 
a white person were not allowed to any descendant 
from an African, however remote the origin. The 
taint in the blood was incurable, and spread to the 
latest posterity. 

" L'interet et la surete veulent que nous accablions 
la race des noirs d'un si grand mepris que quiconque 
en descend, jusqu'a la sixieme generation, soit con- 
vert d'une tache ineffacable," wrote Hilliard d'Auberteuil in 1775 in a book- 
in two volumes {Considerations sur la co/o?iie de Saint Domingue) which he 
published a year afterwards. In this passage he reflected faithfully contemporary 
white opinion. 

This book was suppressed in 1777 by order of Louis XVI, not on account 

1 This was a later development more characteristic of the southern provinces. Down to the middle 
of the eighteenth century, freed men of colour or blacks served occasionally as officers in the French armed 
forces,. Early in the history of the eighteenth century, two of these North Haitian negroes — VincentO llivier 
and Etienne Auba, had, somehow or other, become captains in the black militia of the parishes they 
inhabited (the troops called " Les Suisses Noirs"), and consequently had the right to "porter l'epee du 
roi." Vincent Ollivier even went to Europe and fought as an officer in the German wars under Marechal 
Villars, and as he was an exceedingly tall man — almost a giant — was presented to Louis XIV. He died 
in Haiti at the extraordinary age of a hundred and twenty years. Etienne Auba lived to be ninety-eight. 

2 Whatever might be their virtues or their wealth, they were never admitted to the parochial meetings. At 
shows, theatres, etc., they were pushed on one side and had separate and inferior places assigned to them 
in the churches. The prohibition, however, to bearing European names was very seldom enforced. 
" Sang-meles," or mulattoes, were forbidden to eat with white people, or to dance after nine o'clock in the 
evening, or to use the same stuffs for their clothing as the whites. To enforce this last regulation, police- 
men were entrusted with the execution of this decree, and it was not an infrequent sight in Haiti to see 
them even at the doors of churches tearing off the clothes from mulattoes of both sexes, " qu'ils laissaient 
sans autre voile que la pudeur. " 



General Alexandre Petion, the first 
President of Haiti, 1806-18 


of its rigorous views as to the "colour question," but because " il attaqua 
l'administration des chefs de Saint Domingue." Hilliard d'Auberteuil dared to 
point out the intolerable tyranny of the military government x under which 
Saint Domingue was groaning ; he illustrated the chafings of the white 
colonists against the insolent and wasteful administration of French generals, 
colonels, and captains ; chafings which enlisted the planter element against the 
" ancien regime" and in favour of constitutionalism, until in 1789-92 the great 
men of the Revolution espoused the cause of the man of colour. 

Even under Louis XIV the "Code Noir" had been modified by local 
ordinances which received Royal Approval ; further modifications were intro- 
duced under Louis XV and XVI, sometimes by royal decree, sometimes by 
resolutions of the Conseil Superieur of Cap Francais. But Article 59 of the 
1685 Edict (that which declared that all freed slaves enjoyed the same 
liberties and rights as other free men) was left untouched. 

It is noticeable (point out one or two writers of the late eighteenth and early 
nineteenth centuries) that the infractions of the " Code Noir " and the increased 
maltreatment of slaves and free mulattoes did not take place until the Jesuits 
had been expelled from Saint Domingue about 1766-J. 2 Here, as in Brazil and 
Paraguay, they had exasperated the white colonists by standing up for the 
natives or the negro slaves ; and in Hispaniola they had endeavoured to exact 
from the local government a full application of the various slave-protecting 
edicts. Whatever faults and mistakes they may have been guilty of in the 
nineteenth century the Jesuits played for two hundred years a noble part in 
acting as a buffer between the Caucasian on the one hand and the backward 
peoples on the other. 

In their intense desire to obtain recognition of " white " citizenship some of 
the wealthy or influential men of colour of Saint Domingue (quadroons, 
octoroons, "near-whites") would declare themselves to be of partly "Indian" 
descent, thus accounting for their dark complexions. On this plea they would 
ask for " letters patent " from the local government officials establishing their 
freedom from any negro intermixture. Down to about 1760 this certificate was 
rarely refused, and in this way numbers of "sang-meles" entered white society 
and melted finally into the bosom of the French nation ; they or their descen- 
dants often becoming the most " acharnes " enemies of the negroid freed man, 
or the most pitiless masters of slaves. 3 

But after 1770 the White planters of the West Indian colonies and French 
society at home became so sensitive to the purity of their Caucasian blood (not 
knowing that all France and much else of Western and Southern Europe is 
saturated with an ancient negroid element indigenous to Europe many, many 
thousand years ago) that their influence reacted on the Court and the Secre- 
taries of State. In 1771 the Minister of Marine and the Colonies thus 
expressed the Royal views as to the granting of patents of " white " citizenship 
to Domingans of rather dark complexion : — 

" Sa Majeste n'a pas juge a propos de la leur accorder ; Elle a juge qu'une 

1 There were not infrequently good-hearted governors-general such as M. de Bellecombe and 
M. d'Ennery. But they could not stand up against the soldiery on the one hand and the arrogant 
planters on the other. 

Les Jesuites . . . prechaient, attroupaient les negres, forcaient les maitres a retarder leurs travaux ; 
faisaient des catechismes, des cantiques, et appelaient tons les esclaves au tribunal de la penitence : 
depuis leur expulsion les mariages sont rares. . . ." — Hilliard d'Auberteuil. 

3 Just as the bitterest enemies and cruellest detractors of the Jews in France, Belgium, Germany,, 
Austria and Russia have often been Jews that have changed their name and their religion. 



pareille grace tendrait a detruire la difference que la nature a mise entre les 
blancs et les noirs, et que le prejuge politique a eu soin d'entretenir comme une 
distance a laquelle les gens de couleur et leurs descendans ne devaient jamais 
atteindre : enfin, qu'il importait au bon ordre de ne pas affaiblir l'etat 
d'humiliation attache a l'espece dans quelque degre quelle se trouve ; prejuge 
d'autant plus utile qu'il est dans le coeur meme des esclaves, et qu'il contribue 
principalement au repos des colonies. S.M. approuve en consequence que vous 

ayez refuse de solliciter pour les Sieurs la faveur d'etre declares issus de race 

indienne ; et Elle vous recommande de ne favoriser sous aucun pretexte les 
alliances des blancs avec les filles de sang-meles. 

" Ce que j'ai marque a M. le comte de Nolivos, le 14 de ce mois, au sujet de 

M. le Marquis de , capitaine d'une compagnie de dragons, qui a epouse 

en France une fille de sang-mele, et qui par cette raison ne peut plus servir a 
Saint-Domingue, vous prouve combien S.M. est determinee a maintenir le 
principe qui doit ecarter a jamais les gens de couleur et leur posterite de tous 
les avantages attaches aux blancs." 

The northern part of Haiti having been earliest and most completely 
colonised by the French, and being far ahead of the south in commerce, there 
was greater luxury and refinement of manners amongst the French colonists, 
and these traits were also characteristic of the 9000 free mulattoes and even of 
the 170,000 slaves which the northern province possessed at the time of the 
insurrection (1791). 1 There were even a number of pure-blooded negroes 
amongst the "Affranchis" of the northern province, who were "Chefs de 
families respectables presque tous lies en legitime manage." Many of these 
free negroes were educated, enlightened, quiet and dignified in their manners, 
and even " ayant des inclinations aristocratiques." 

But in the western and southern provinces, it was amongst the mulattoes 
(who were very numerous) that the most enlightened men and respectable 
families were to be found. These mulatto families sent many of their children 
to France to receive a liberal education. But in consequence of the injustice 
with which these mulattoes or educated negroes were treated by the white 
colonists, so far from their ideas being aristocratic, they were democratic, even 
revolutionary, especially among those who had obtained their education in 
Europe and who returned to Haiti to find a grinding tyranny afflicting their 

The influence of the modern spirit which arose in France under the teaching 

1 According to Hilliard d'Auberteuil, between 16S0 and 1776 there were introduced into Saint 
Domingue more than 800,000 negro slaves, of which only 290,000 remained in 1776- Their constant 
decrease was not due to disease nor to unwillingness to marry and beget children. But many of them 
were literally worked to death by unremitting labour, while the masters discouraged the women from 
child-bearing because they could not spare them from field-labour during the last month or two of their 
pregnancy, or while they were suckling the child. So they frequently forced women who were with child 
to abort, and then even grudged the day or two's absence from work while they recovered from such an 

Yet if well treated by kind masters of humane instincts (and of course there were such in 
St. Domingue) the negroes would be most prolific. Hilliard saw an old Senegalese negro who had been 
eighty-seven years in slavery and had married three wives. These had given him twenty-two children, 
who in turn had bred ; and the ultimate result was that this patriarch of over a hundred years old was 
surrounded by fifty-three of his descendants to the fourth generation. 

In 1789, according to M<>reau de Saint Mery, besides the 170,000 slaves in the north province, there 
were 168,000 in the west, and 114,000 in the south, making 452,000 in all. Then there existed at the 
same time several thousand " maroon" negroes — ancient and modern runaways — who were mostly living 
on the Bahoruco mountain in the north-eastern part of Haiti. These, after eighty years of guerilla 
warfare with the French and Spaniards, had won respect from both and had concluded peace with the 
French in 1780. 

i 4 4 


of men like Rousseau, Condorcet, and Mirabeau led, about 1776, to the discus- 
sion of slavery as an institution and to the rights of free men of colour. The 
decision of Lord Chief Justice Mansfield in England (1772) and the first 
motion brought against the slave-trade in the House of Commons (1776) were 
not without their effect on contemporary French opinion, and from that time 
onwards the harassed mulattoes of St. Domingue (forbidden after 1777 to 
come to France) had a body of sympathetic friends and advocates in Paris 
which by 1788 had crystallised into the " Societe des Amis des Noirs." This 
was at one and the same time an Anti-slavery and Anti-slave-trade organisa- 
tion ; its president was Con- 
dorcet ; Mirabeau, Lafayette, 
Petion, the Duke de la Roche- 
foucauld, Robespierre, and 
Brissot were among the 
members ; but the most eager 
advocate among them all of- 
the rights of the free mulatto 
and the negro slave was the 
Abbe Henri Gregoire, Cure 
of Embermenil, afterwards 
Bishop of Blois. 

He, indeed, in 1789 pre- 
sented to the National 
Assembly a petition in favour 
of the free mulattoes of Saint 
Domingue, setting forth all 
their disabilities and depriva- 
tions. Soon afterwards the 
Declaration of the Rights 
of Man (in August, 1789) 
seemed, if it were logically 
applied to the French over- 
sea possessions, to accord full 
civic rights to the already 
free "sang-meles" of St. 
Domingue, and also inferen- 
tially to discountenance 

These steps in advance 
infuriated the strong White 
Planter party, the thirty 
thousand French settlers of more or less pure blood, whose representatives 
and members when on leave of absence had their rendezvous in Paris at the 
Hotel Massiac, and gradually constituted themselves into a "Club Massiac" 
to watch the interests of the planters in St. Domingue. Out in the colony 
at this time (1789-90) any attempts on the part of coloured people to 
claim the position accorded to them under the Decree of 1685 or even 
to hold political discussions, were repressed by the white planters with 
the utmost cruelty and much loss of life, even white Frenchmen being killed 
brutally for pleading the cause of the mulatto. Children and women were 
massacred who were in any way, even accidentally, connected with the freed 




man who had expressed a desire to possess full civic rights without distinction 
of colour. 1 

In Paris the Club Massiac devoted itself to influencing the members of the 
National Assembly against any interference with slavery or explicit recognition 
of the rights of the " sang-meles." Too much philanthropy in this direction, 
they hinted, might lead to the declaration! of the local independence of Saint 
Domingo, the white residents of that colony having already displayed " des 
velleites d'independance " in 1788. In that year in fact an irresistible movement 
had taken place among the white planters towards the establishment of local 
constitutional government, and commissioners had been elected and despatched 
to Paris in 1789 to place the views of the White colony before the French 

But the free mulattoes simultaneously desired a consideration of their claims 
and grievances, and somehow, notwithstand- 
ing the futile law of 1777, they managed to 
be represented in Paris by two delegates — 
Julien Raymond' 2 and Vincent Oge, envoys 
who at once enlisted the sympathies and 
help of Gregoire and Brissot. 

But virtually the text of the new Consti- 
tution of Saint Domingue was drawn up at 
the Club Massiac. This Constitution pro- 
vided for absolute self-government on the 
part of the colony, but resembled the Act 
of Union of to-day in South Africa in 
ignoring the right of freed coloured citizens 
to have anv voice in the government of their 
own country. It also inferentially main- 
tained slavery as an institution. But Gregoire 
and Brissot were reconciled to the enacting 
of this Domingan constitution by the text 
of the " covering despatch " which would 
go out with it to the Governor-General 
of Saint Domingue. In this there would 
be a paragraph (Article 2) from which 
misiht be deduced the non-existence of 
any colour bar in the formation of the Colonial Assembly. 

Vincent Oge, disgusted at the surrender of the National Assembly to the 
planter interest, returned quickly to his native land to plead the cause of the 
free mulattoes there and to see that the Governor (Count Peinier) carried out 
his instructions as regards non-recognition of the colour bar in the elections 
which took place in 1790-1. He conferred first with a friend, a mulatto named 
Jean Baptiste Chavannes, who advised him to incite the negro slaves of the 
northern province to revolt, and then at their head to demand from the local 
government justice for the coloured people, but Oge shrank from this step. 


1 For a detailed account of the atrocities committed by the whites of Haiti on the yellow and black 
freedmen, inquiring only as to their political rights, see pp. 1 15-19 of Ardouin's Etudes sur F Histoin de 

2 Raymond had reached Paris in 1784, enabled to do so by the backing anl sympathy of a noble- 
minded Governor-General of St. Domingue — M. de Bellecombe — wh<> thoroughly sympathised with 
the " affranchis. " Raymond, like Oge, was a mulatto of wealth and of high education. 




He confined himself to writing rather bombastic letters to the Governor- 
General (Count Peinier). 

The Governor replied evasively and later attempted to arrest Oge and 
Chavannes, who now raised a force of nearly three hundred armed mulattoes 
and with this band disarmed some of the planters in their vicinity. This 
action they carried out with very little bloodshed : only one white man was 
killed. Doubtless Oge thought the negro slaves would rally to his support, but 
these latter were given no time for deliberation. The rising was nipped in the 
bud by energetic military measures, and Oge and his officers were obliged to 
fly across the Spanish frontier and give themselves up to the Spanish authorities. 

Oge's enterprise at the moment met with but little sympathy from the mass 
of the negoes and even of the coloured people. So far, he and the rest of the 
forty thousand " sang-meles " had not concerned themselves much with the 
four hundred thousand negro slaves. They had seldom attempted to plead 
much for the condition of the slave or to advocate the abolition of slavery. 

In January, 1791, the Spanish Governor of Santo Domingo very meanly 
surrendered Oge and his companions to the French, 1 and they were all killed 
under circumstances of shocking brutality. 2 

"The blood of martyrs, etc. !" The news of these fiendish excesses of the 
planter government aroused horror and shame in Paris — so soon to be plunged 
into far worse horrors — and the Abbe Gregoire succeeded on May 15th, 1791, in 
carrying a motion to the effect that " the people of colour resident in the French 
colonies, born of free parents, were entitled to, as of right, and should be 
allowed the enjoyment of all privileges of French citizens and among others 
those of being eligible to seats both in the parochial and colonial assemblies." 

The enforcement of this precept in 1791 in any case was likely to precipitate 
Saint Domingue into civil war, because the planter element was determined 
never to admit equality of political rights with forty thousand men of colour. 
But apart from this, when the resolution of the National Assembly became 
known in the island some of the mulattoes of the north rose in arms to avenge 
Oge, and their deeds were soon after thrown in the shade by a black rebellion 
which was to prove more awful in its results than any movement of the Negro in 
America before or since. The insurrection broke out on August 22nd, 1791 , and 
was confined to the long northern province of Haiti. Its first leader was a negro 
called Bouckman, but its guiding spirit was Toussaint Louverture, though for 
several years he kept in the background as a secretary of one of the negro 

1 Asking in return that he might be given the decoration of the Cross of St. Louis. 

- The trial of Vincent Oge, Chavannes, and their companions before the Conseil Superieur of Cap 
Francais lasted two months. The accused were not allowed any counsel for defence. They were 
sentenced to death. Oge and Chavannes were executed (February 25th, 1791) in the following manner, 
as were most of the "officers" of Oge's troop): Their arms, legs, thighs and backbones were broken 
(with clubs) on a scaffold. They were then fastened round a wheel in such a manner that the face was 
turned upwards to receive the full glare of the sun. " Here," ran the sentence, " they are to remain for as 
long as it shall please God to preserve them alive " : after which their heads were to be cut off and exposed 
on tall posts. 

There are a good many references to God during the trial. Needless to say He was assumed to be 
entirely on the side of the planters and as anxious as they that the coloured man should not get the vote, 
and equally horrified at Oge's mad appeal to force. What sickens the decent reader of the record of the 
White man's dealings with the Black — and if he were not a philosopher, would turn him into an atheist — 
is the hypocrisy of the White man, who is constantly cloaking greed, injustice, chicanery, bloodshed and 
fiendish cruelty towards some coloured race by invoking the Deity as his partner, Managing-Director, 
aider and abettor. The Negro has been to the full as cruel as the White man ; he can cheat and rob quite 
as well. But he is not an odious hypocrite ; he is often a criminal for the sheer pleasure of being cruel or 
of taking somebody else's property, but never "ad majorem gloriam Dei." 


generals. The revolted blacks and mulattoes killed without pity even masters 
and mistresses who had treated them well ; not, in some cases, sparing their 
own white fathers. They outraged a few white women, ripped up others who 
were pregnant, impaled infants on pikes, and even used an impaled white child 
as a banner of defiance. One of their leaders — a hideous creature called 
Jeannot — drank the blood of the whites whom he massacred, and several other 
negroes relapsed into actual cannibalism. 

It is only fair, however, to state that Jeannot was shot for his atrocities by 
Jean-Francois, one of the first great leaders of the revolt, that Toussaint Lou- 
verture nearly always interposed when he could to save lives and to treat 
prisoners with clemency — so much so that he was often accused by other 
negroes of undue partiality for the whites. Also it must be remembered that 
nearly all these horrors, with the doubtful exception of the blood-drinking and 
eating of human flesh, could be paralleled among the contemporaneous wicked- 
ness of the French planters and soldiers, who, moreover, had taken the lead in 
the perpetration of atrocities on defenceless negroes and half-castes for over a 
hundred years. 1 No impartial reader of the records dealing with the period 
1 680- 1 79 1 can feel over-much pity for the one to two thousand whites who 
lost their lives in the first outbreak of the Haitian rising. Simultaneously — or 
soon afterwards — the whites, whenever they got any temporary advantage over 
the negroes, beheaded, hanged, burnt alive, broke on the wheel, ripped open, 
and impaled men, women, and children with a gusto fully equal to that shown 
by the most brutal African. It was a shocking time and a shocking system, if 
there be any validity in our present ideas of right and wrong. 

The French settlements of the west and south were menaced by a small 
army of mulattoes (about 4000) under Beauvais, the brothers Rigaud, Marc 
Borno. Petion, and Boyer (to mention a few who subsequently became famous 
in Haitian history). They had collected on the Artibonite River near Mire- 
balais, and had summoned the Governor-General of St. Domingue in a respect- 
fully worded letter to give effect to the pronouncement of the French National 
Assembly of May 15th. The Governor (Blanchelande) replied evasively; 
there was further correspondence (the mulattoes received a certain support 
from the French planters who held republican ideas) ; and at length war broke 
out between the bulk of the French planters (with the civil and military 
authorities on their side) and the mulattoes. In the skirmish or battle of 
Pernier, however, the mulattoes were victorious; and by October, 1791, an 
understanding had been reached between the belligerent, "ancien regime" 

1 Bryan Edwards, in his historical survey of Saint Domingo, gives the following description of the 
manner in which captured negro insurgents were executed: "Two of these unhappy men suffered in 
this manner under the window of the author's lodgings, and in his presence, at Cape Francois, on Thurs- 
day, the 28th of September, 1791. They were broken on two pieces of timber placed crosswise. One 
of them expired on receiving the third stroke on his stomach, each of his arms having been first broken 
in two places ; the first three blows he bore without a groan. The other had a harder fate. When the 
executioner, after breaking his legs and arms, lifted up the instrument to give the finishing stroke on the 
breast, and which (by putting the criminal out of his pain) is called le coup de grdce, the mob, with 
the ferociousness of cannibals, called out ' Arretez ! ' (stop) and compelled him to leave his work un- 
finished. In that condition the miserable wretch, with his broken limbs doubled up, was put on a cart- 
wheel, which was placed horizontally, one end of the axle-tree being driven into the earth. He seemed 
perfectly sensible, but uttered not a groan. At the end of forty minutes some English seamen, who 
were spectators of the tragedy, strangled him in mercy." 

At a later date, when a French army under General Leclerc was endeavouring to reconquer Haiti, an 
occasional amusement with the officers at Cap Francais was to make a small arena, fasten in the middle 
of it a negro prisoner, and then let in several famished mastiffs, which proceeded to devour piecemeal the 
living, shrieking man. 

i 4 8 


whites of Western and Southern Haiti and the mulatto forces, which now 
reached a total of four or five thousand men, and in addition were to some 
extent allied with the negro insurgents of the north. 

At this juncture arrived the text of the decree of the Constituant Assembly 
of Paris of September 24th, 1791 (inspired by the Club Massiac and the panic 
caused in France by the rising of the negroes). Article 3 of this new colonial 
law placed the political status of free coloured people and negroes (as also of 
slaves) completely at the mercy of existing colonial assemblies, subject only to 
the eventual sanction by the King of laws which might be passed and made 
operative by the colonial assemblies (then entirely composed of white men). 
Already — besides the vacillating treachery of the French Parliament — another 
betrayal of the negro cause was in contemplation amongst the planters of the 
" ancien regime " school of thought in St. Domingue, and that was to hand over 
the colony to the English on the understanding that the " ancien regime " was to 
be restored and all the slaves brought back under the yoke. In August, 1791, 
the Government of Jamaica had been actually asked by some of the Domingan 
officials if it could arrange to send over the Jamaica maroons (wild negroes) to 
help subdue the revolted slaves in Northern Haiti. 

To restore order and proclaim a general amnesty in Haiti three com- 
missioners (one of whom was M. Roume) were sent by the French Government 
in the autumn of 1791, bearing with them the decree of September 24th, which 
once more annulled the liberties of the coloured people. But they were im- 
potent to effect any improvement. On account of this decree the " contre- 
revolutionnaires," the aristocratic planter party of Port au Prince and Cap 
Francais, had once more refused to carry out the promises of equal civic 
rights to the coloured men, and the war between the two parties broke out 
afresh, mainly in the south of Haiti. Frightful atrocities were committed 
on both sides, the whites being fully as bad as the mulattoes, and generally 
initiating the horrors. 

In the spring of 1792, the new Legislative Assembly at Paris, again anxiously 
considering the "colour question"(the arguments and counter-argumentsdelivered 
before it read so very modern), came round once more to the sentiment that 
there should be no colour-bar to civic rights on French territory, so it rendered 
the famous decree of April 4th, 1792, subscribed by a constitutional monarch 
before whom was already yawning the abyss, and drawn up by a minister — 
Roland — who lived and died a hundred years before his appropriate time. 

Three new commissioners — Polverel, Sonthonax, and Ailhaud (together 
with a new Governor-General, d'Esparbes) — were appointed to proceed to 
St. Domingue to put this decree in force and to reorganise the colony 
on a new base if necessary. With them went a force of six thousand 
troops of a kind more penetrated by the new spirit of liberty than the older 


Before their arrival, the Colonial Assembly had passed a decree affirming the 
absolute necessity of maintaining slavery as an integral article of the colony's 
constitution, and when the commissioners arrived, this was quoted to them. 
Both Polverel and Sonthonax (Ailhaud never counted in these conferences, and 
soon went home) solemnly assured the members of Assembly that the French 
Government had not the slightest intention of abolishing slavery. This declara- 
tion they made repeatedly with almost humiliating asseverations, but did not 
succeed any the more in securing the adhesion of the" contre-revolutionnaires " 
— the extreme planter majority in the Colonial Assembly. The rock on which 



they split was the determination of the new Commissioners to enforce the 
decree of April 4th, and oblige the Colonial Assembly to grant the fullest possible 
suffrage held by white men to the free mulattoes and negroes. 

Though at one with the armed mulattoes, the three commissioners were 
not successful in securing altogether the allegiance of the black army camped 
in the north-east of Haiti under the orders of Jean-Francois, Biassou, and the 


ever more important Toussaint Louverture. This was partly due to the sus- 
picion with which Toussaint and his associates regarded both the whites of any 
party and the mulattoes. Yet Toussaint Louverture had not at this juncture 
demanded the unconditional emancipation of the slaves ; merely of a few 
hundreds among them. His brother generals (if not he himself) frequently 
offered slaves for sale to the Spaniards as a means of raising revenue. The 
mulattoes were many of them slave-owners. The utmost demands down to the 
spring of 1793 was the recognition of full political rights on the part of all 
mulattoes and negroes already free. 


If the situation was already complicated by the intrigues between the 
" contre-revolutionnaires " and the British in Jamaica and in England, it was 
rendered increasingly difficult for Sonthonax and Polverel by the intervention 
of Spain (through the Spanish Government of Santo Domingo) and the execu- 
tion of Louis XVI. This last event is supposed to have shocked Toussaint 
and the rebellious negroes profoundly. A hundred and more years ago, 
negroes in Africa and x^merica were entirely monarchical in their ideas. All 
their conceptions of government centred in a chief — elected, or more often 
hereditary. From their own chiefs they would endure much cruelty and 
oppression before they deposed or assassinated. On several occasions be- 
tween 1788 and 1792 the negroes in insurrection in this French colony had 
wished to lay their grievances before the French monarch directly, thinking he 
might prove to be a real father of his people without distinction of colour. 
And now to learn that he had been beheaded by his own subjects increased 
their utter distrust of the French. 

So Toussaint, Jean-Francois, Biassou, and others enlisted under the banner 
of Spain, accepted military grades in the Spanish army and decorations of 
Spanish orders : all these compliments offered them by the Spanish Governor 
of Santo Domingo being in pursuance of the dynastic war declared against 
France on the morrow of Louis XVI's execution. They swore "to die in 
defence of the Bourbons." 

Events were precipitated by the attack on the two Commissioners at Cap 
Francais (Northern Haiti) and on Kigaud and other mulatto leaders in the 
southern province. This revolt against their authority was headed by the 
French Governor-General (Galbaud) and most of the military and naval forces 
of the " ancien regime," and of course enlisted the sympathies and support of 
the planters. 

To save the colony for republican France, Sonthonax and Polverel released 
the negro gaol-prisoners at Cap Francais, drafted many negro slaves into their 
armed forces, and made full use of the mulattoes (in addition to such French 
troops as remained faithful to the Republic). Cap Francais was burnt down 
and about three hundred whites — many of them women and children — were 
killed by the negro allies of the two Commissioners, who were commanded by 
a ferocious Congo negro named Makaya. 

On September 20th, 1793, British forces, at the invitation of the French 
planter party, were landed at Jeremie in Southern Haiti, and by May, 1794, the 
Mole St. Nicholas, Tiburon, and Port-au-Prince were in British occupation. 

But republican France was victorious in Europe, and at the Peace of Bale in 
1795 compelled Spain to cede to her the whole of Hispaniola, so that in 1796 
the Spanish forces and officials had withdrawn from all the eastern part of the 
island except the town of Santo Domingo. 

The desperate Commissioners, Sonthonax and Polverel, when the descent 
of the British from Jamaica seemed imminent, had by a series of proclamations 
and solemn functions between June and September, 1793, proclaimed the final 
and universal emancipation of all slaves in Hispaniola. 1 

Toussaint Louverture was won over to the French cause by the emancipa- 

1 Their action was confirmed by a decree of the National Convention at Paris dated February 4th, 
I 794- This confirmation had, however, been opposed by Robespierre, but supported by Danton. It is 
said that Danton's advocacy of the emancipation of the slaves greatly angered Robespierre and was one 
of the causes that led to his sending his great rival to the guillotine. Napoleon when First Consul revoked 
this decree in 1802 and reinstituted slavery in Hispaniola, the French Antilles, and other possessions. 


l S l 

tion of the slaves. He had begun to doubt the sincerity of the Spanish 
Governor of Santo Domingo in espousing the cause of the black man. He 
therefore somewhat abruptly threw off his allegiance to Spain and transferred 
it to republican France. No doubt, if he could have been called upon to justify 
his action he would have said that he was only loyal to one cause, that of 
the negro, and that he was ready to serve under the banners of the government 
which gave his fellow-negroes the full rights of man. Jean-Francois and 
Biassou did not agree with him, and eventually passed over to the Spaniards 
altogether. Still, Toussaint Louverture and the other negro leaders who made 


terms with the Commissioners confined their military action principally to the 
northern parts of Haiti. 

In the south the cause of the French Republic (and of the coloured man) 
was defended by the mulatto forces under Andre Rigaud and other mulatto 
generals. But although the mulattoes fought very bravely (they displayed ex- 
traordinary ferocity towards such whites as fell into their power) they could not 
succeed at first in dislodging the British, and after the fall of Port-au-Prince in 
May, 1794, Sonthonax and Polverel made their way across the mountains 
to Jacmel and left that port in June, 1794, to return to France and to present 
themselves under a Decree of Accusation before the bar of the National 
Convention. They would certainly have been beheaded by the order of Robes- 
pierre but that fortunately they reached France after the Revolution of Thermi- 
dor had put an end to the bloodthirsty tyranny of that perverted creature. 

General Laveaux, an officer inducted into the principal military and civil 


commands as Governor, by the two Commissioners, kept on friendly terms with 
Toussaint ; and when a mulatto rising at Cap Francais made Laveaux tempo- 
rarily a prisoner, Toussaint Louverture entered Cap Francais, suppressed the 
revolt, and as a reward was promoted by Laveaux to be Lieutenant-General of 
the Government of Saint Domingue on the ist April, 1796. Thenceforth the 
negroes were supreme in all the northern part of Haiti, while Andre Rigaud 
was at the head of the mulatto forces and dominated all parts of the south and 
west not in British possession. 

At this time Sonthonax returned from France as Commissioner and 
promoted Toussaint to be General of Division in the armies of France and 
later Commander-in-Chief in Saint Domingue. All this time Toussaint was 
steadily drilling his troops, and a deep-seated jealousy was growing up between 
him and Rigaud, the Commander of the mulattoes in the south. A new Com- 
missioner came out from France to replace Sonthonax, who had been practically 
expelled by Toussaint in 1797. This Commissioner — General Hedouville — 
called a conference between Rigaud and Toussaint at Cap Francais, affecting to 
desire to bring about an agreement between them. But Toussaint, having good 
reason to fear treachery and arrest, made his escape from Cap Francais and 
returned to the head-quarters of his army. 

By 1798 the British were sick of their futile attempt to conquer Haiti. They 
had lost the greater part of their white soldiers and sailors from yellow fever, 1 
and they found over and over again that their mulatto or negro allies were 
faithless. It only remained for them to secure reasonable terms for the French 
planters, who had invited the coming of the British and who had often fought 
gallantly under the British flag. Brigadier-General Maitland, who conducted 
the negotiations for evacuation, tried at first to treat with General Hedouville, 
but the latter was a stupid fanatic and attached more importance to the death 
or the expulsion of the French planters who sympathised with the " ancien 
regime" than to anything else. Consequently, Brigadier-General Maitland 
negotiated with Toussaint alone and made over to him the last British strong- 
hold in the island — the Mole St. Nicholas.' 2 Toussaint Louverture treated the 
French colonists with kindness and honour and enabled many of them to return 
to their homes and plantations. Hedouville actually instigated Toussaint's own 
nephew, General Moise, to murder some of these white colonists who had 
settled again near Cap Francais, then took fright at his own action and 
embarked for France, meantime authorising Rigaud to consider himself the 
Governor of the Southern Department and not to obey Toussaint. Yet Rigaud, 
whenever he had the power, murdered the whites in the south of Haiti without 
pity or hesitation, though at least half-white in his own extraction, and employ- 
ing many " poor" whites in his army of 12,000 men. 

Meantime, one of the first Commissioners sent out by France in 1789 — 
Roume — was residing at the town of Santo Domingo to represent French 
authority in the eastern part of the distracted island. Toussaint, who seemed 
to be loyal to France, invited Roume to take up his abode with him as 
Commissioner. Roume did so, and then tried to effect a reconciliation between 
Rigaud and Beauvais (on behalf of the mulattoes) and Toussaint Louverture. 

1 Out of over 15,000 troops landed between 1795 anc ' ! 79^ on 'y 3°°° survived to leave Hispaniola. 
At least 11,000 died of tropical diseases. The total cost of British intervention in Haitian affairs was 

2 Toussaint had at this time a well-drilled army of 18,000 infantry and 1000 cavalry, almost 
exclusively negro. 



the great negro Commander-in-Chief, but with no ultimate effect. Later on, in 
1799, Toussaint sent a large force of negroes under Dessalines and Christophe 
to conquer the south of Haiti. The French Government intervened when the 
conquest was almost complete by sending another Commissioner, who confirmed 
Toussaint in his position and persuaded Rigaud to leave for France. 

- 3Ksl(<£§!§t§ 

From Captain Marcus Rainsford's History of St. Domingo 

Finding that Commissioner Roume had been organising without his knowledge 
a negro revolt in Jamaica, Toussaint ultimately compelled that French repre- 
sentative to leave Hispaniola, after giving him permission to occupy the eastern 
part of the island. Consequently, by the close of 1800 Toussaint Louverture 
was the undisputed master of the whole of Hispaniola. He now promulgated 
a Constitution which for some time past he had been elaborating. Saint 


Domingue was to be a self-governing colony of France under a Governor to 
hold power for five years. Negroes, white men, and mulattoes were to be 
absolutely equal before the law, and to hold posts under the new government 
without distinction of colour. Trade was to be practically free, with a slight 
preference in favour of France. General Toussaint Louverture was, however, 
to be President for life, with power to name his immediate successor. This 
Constitution was sent to France in 1801 to be submitted to the approval of the 
First Consul. Meantime, Toussaint established a civil administration of some 
effectiveness. The island was divided into districts, and in each district there 
was to be an inspector to see that all the ex-slaves returned to their work at the 
plantations and factories on the understanding that they were to be paid for 
their services. A fifth part of the produce of each estate was to be divided 
amongst the labourers. Friendly arrangements as regards commerce were 
concluded with the United States and even with England ; both the finances 
of the island and agriculture made distinct progress towards recovery during 

1 801. 

But his dream — which in its fulfilment might have had such a great effect 
on the future of the black man in America — was not to be realised. Napoleon 
Bonaparte determined to reduce Haiti once more to the position of a white 
man's colony, and at the close of 1801 despatched to the island a force of 
twenty-five thousand French soldiers under the command of his brother-in-law 
General Leclerc. With Leclerc returned Rigaud, Petion, and Villatte, three 
leading mulatto generals eager to serve with the French against their black 
fellow-countrymen. Once more the unfortunate town of Cap Francais 1 was 
set on fire and again destroyed, by Toussaint's general, Christophe, who was 
commanding there and was unable to resist so huge an armament as that 
brought out by General Leclerc. 

The negro troops under Toussaint, Christophe, and Dessalines retreated from 
the coast to the mountains after some very stiff fighting in which they proved 
their quality. Thousands of the French soldiers died of yellow fever, among 
them their commander, Leclerc ; but the war and the sufferings entailed wore 
out the patience of Toussaint's generals, notably Christophe, who began to 
make terms with the French. Toussaint, wishing to save his country from 
further disasters, wrote to Leclerc and tendered his submission. An interview 
followed in which he was treated purposely with great distinction, and he then 
issued orders to all his officers to acknowledge the authority of France and dis- 
arm their soldiers. Having done this, Toussaint retired to his own estate at 
Ennery. One day he received a letter from a French officer asking for an in- 
terview at a place near the plantation. Toussaint kept the appointment, but 
was immediately arrested and bound with ropes. His family (wife, children, 
and brother) were then collected and all of them despatched to the coast, 
whence they were sent on a French ship to France. Toussaint, on his arrival 
in that country, addressed a dignified appeal to Napoleon, just about to be made 
Emperor, but received no answer. He was separated from his family, who 
were left at Rochefort, while he himself was interned at the Chateau de Joux in 
the French Alps near Besangon. Here he died soon afterwards from privations 

1 Since the declaration of Haitian independence, the name of this place, which for a hundred years 
was practically the French capital, has been changed to Cap Haitien. It was rebuilt once more under 
the rule of Christophe, but was again destroyed by a terrible earthquake in 1842. Its present condition 
bears but few traces of its magnificence during the eighteenth century, though in its surroundings and 
port it has the making of one of the great sea cities of the world. 


l S7 

and the effects of the extreme cold, and under such suspicious circumstances 
that it was alleged poison had hastened his end — an allegation, however, 
that was probably untrue. His body was thrown into the common grave of 
prisoners of no distinction. Altogether, the treatment of this man by the 
French is a lasting blot on French honour. He was undoubtedly a very fine 

Toussaint Louverture was born in 1746 at the plantation of the Comte de 
Breda, on the mountains just behind Cap Francais, the son of a negro slave 
named Gao-Ginu. In the faint traditions preserved about his father's descent, 
the father was said to have been a native of the Zaire country, to have come 
from a district between the main Zaire (Zaire = Congo) and the " Posambo " 
River, from a tribe known as the " Arada." Gao-Ginu was believed (as is said 
in all such occurrences) to have been the son of a king. The River Posambo is 
not identifiable in the modern maps of Africa, but the " Arada " tribe or country 
is obviously "Alada," in Southern Dahome. There is practically nothing to 
confirm the story that Toussaint Louverture was of Congolese origin, i.e. from 
the vicinity of the Zaire ; whereas the name of his father and other fragmentary 
indications make it very probable that he came from Southern Dahome. If so 
his father and the grandfather of President Barclay of Liberia were practically 
fellow-countrymen. The portraits of Toussaint Louverture show a decidedly 
Negro face, but one of a not uncommon type, such as might come from Dahome 
or the Gold Coast. 

The baptismal names of this Negro hero were Pierre Dominique Toussaint, 
to which as he grew up he added the name of Breda, from the plantation on 
which he was born. Soon after the Negro insurrection of 1791 he acquired 
and adopted the nickname of Louverture [which he always spelt Louverture, 
and not L'Ouverture]. Various explanations are given of this nickname : the 
favourite being that it was applied to him because he always made " an open- 
ing" in the ranks of the enemy wherever he charged ; but the more probable 
derivation is that of the marked gap in his mouth when he spoke. Toussaint 
had lost most of his front teeth early in life, and when he spoke it was with a 
whistling, lisping sound. As he grew up from being a mere herd-boy to 
becoming his owner's coachman, he managed to learn to read and write, and 
was always noteworthy for his admirable conduct and honesty. Unlike most 
of his fellow-slaves, he would not live in concubinage, but insisted on marrying 
his wife in church. She had had a son by a former husband, whom he adopted. 
She gave him two sons of his own, but they died before or just after their 
father. He had at least one brother — Paul, and there are collateral descendants 
of Toussaint at the present day in the north of Haiti, one of whom is Dr. Enoch 
Desert, an LL.D. of the Faculty of Paris. 

Toussaint all through his life seems to have been sincerely religious, and as 
a zealous Catholic was strongly opposed to the African ideas of fetish and 
sorcery, which were so prevalent amongst his fellow-slaves. Though his hand- 
writing was bad he composed excellent French, and was really quite as much of 
a statesman as a warrior. His private life seems to have been absolutely above 
reproach, and that in a country which was described by contemporary French 
writers as rather worse than " the cities of the Plain." He was not of very 
strong physique, but had trained himself to something like athleticism and was 
a magnificent rider. He was exceedingly fond of animals and treated them 
with a kindness and consideration which are, alas ! too rare in the Negro 
nature. He was invariably tender to women and children of no matter 

i 5 8 


what colour, especially wretched fugitives whom he could assist. He could deal 
pitilessly with men who opposed his plans or who displayed the slightest 
treachery, and he certainly did not make war with rose-water. 

But the characteristic of Toussaint which most forcibly struck the Euro- 
peans who had to deal with him, notably the English, was his loyalty to his 
pledged word. He is never known to have been false to his promise, or to have 
departed not merely from the letter, but even the spirit of his engagements. 
The only exception which might be pleaded by an Advocatus diaboli would 
be his treason to Spain. He had accepted a high rank in the Spanish army 
and had enrolled himself as a subject of the King of Spain, yet after the 
promise of Sonthonax that the slaves should be set free in Haiti, he abruptly 
renounced all Spanish engagements and even (it is said) attempted to secure 
the person of the Spanish Governor. It may be that he considered the 
threatened British attack on Haiti a sufficient excuse — for the British were 

then the most determined opponents of emancipa- 
tion and the close allies of the tyrannical French 
planters. It may also be that he had reason to 
suppose that Spain would be equally hard on the 
Negro if the French power was expelled from 

His loyalty to his word probably cost him his 
life and his chance of reigning as an uncrowned 
king : for if he had gone back on the French in 
1800 and made a treaty with the British (as he was 
invited to do), and perhaps also a treaty with the 
United States, it is unlikely that the First Consul 
would have ventured to despatch an overwhelming 
expedition to reconquer Haiti. 

Toussaint certainly lived luxuriously whenever 
he had the opportunity, so far as splendid surround- 
ings, good food and wine, and general comfort were 
concerned : and he amassed large sums of money. 
But of these, again, he seems to have lent volun- 
tarily a great proportion to the French Treasury in 
Haiti, and, needless to say, his widow and children 
recovered none of it at his death. 

One French planter — the Marquis d'Hermonas— said of Toussaint that 
" God in this terrestrial globe could not commune with a purer spirit" ; Roume, 
the first and last French Commissioner of the island, wrote of Toussaint that 
he was a philosopher, a legislator, a genera], and a good citizen. The English 
officers, military and naval, who had to deal with him recorded with something 
like enthusiasm his probity, his perfect manners, simplicity, and bravery. Very 
different were the impressions they recorded of the feline Mulattoes, who 
might be astute, audacious, heroic sometimes in their bravery (abjectly cowardly 
at others), but who seemed in contrast with the grave deportment, calm courage, 
and reasonable talk of Toussaint Louverture representatives of a really inferior 
brand of man. 

It is a disgrace to Haiti that amidst all her monuments, good, bad, and 
indifferent, none has been raised to commemorate the character and the 
achievements of Toussaint Louverture, whose record is one of the greatest 
hopes for the Negro race. No doubt this is partly due to the long political 

ABOUT 1802 


preponderance of the mulattoes, who hated and despised their mothers' race, 
and who, though they fought a gallant fight with the domineering planters for 
the rights of the coloured man to be treated as a citizen, still in their heart-of- 
hearts desired to maintain the status of slavery for the Negro. It is one of the 
sad features of the great problem attending the relations between White and 
Black that this scission between Negro and Mulatto is perpetuated even to the 
present day in Haiti. 

General Leclerc died at the close of 1802. He was succeeded by General 
Rochambeau (notable for his frightful cruelties to negro prisoners, to whom he 
gave no quarter). Something like forty thousand French soldiers died of yellow 
fever in 1802 and 1803. The kidnapping of Toussaint Louverture had not 
brought peace but a renewal of war, for in spite of the inexcusable treachery of 
Christophe, Dessalines, and other Negro generals to their great leader, the mass 
of their soldiers resented the abduction of Toussaint and took up arms once 
more to attack the French. The British were blockading the coasts, and 
Rochambeau to save the remainder of his army — eight thousand men — was 
obliged to surrender to the British at discretion. Accordingly by the end of 


1803 there was no French soldier left in the western part of the island, and only 
a few in Santo Domingo (who withdrew soon afterwards and were replaced in 
1808 by Spaniards). 

On the 1st January, 1804, General Dessalines 1 declared the independence of 
" Haiti" atGonaives, in the western part of the island. All the members of his 
staff who surrounded him swore for ever to renounce France and to die rather 
than live under her dominion. Then followed under the decree of Dessalines 
a massacre of almost all the French planters remaining in Haiti, even to their 
wives and children. A good deal of the slaughter was* carried on under the 
eyes of Dessalines himself. He was, in fact, an abominable monster of cruelty, 
the Negro at his very worst, and equally unscrupulous in regard to public 
finance. In August, 1804, he proclaimed himself Emperor of Haiti, yet 
was unable to expel the French from the city of Santo Domingo, a failure 
which lessened his prestige. In June, 1805, after publishing a Constitution 
which dissatisfied his generals, the mulatto power (temporarily crushed 
by Dessalines and Toussaint) raised its head, united with the Negro 
notabilities who had grown to hate Dessalines, and this first Emperor of 
Haiti was shot in an ambuscade at Pont Rouge in the northern suburbs of 

1 This pure-blood Negro soldier was born on a plantation in Northern Haiti called Des Salines, 
me originally appears to have been Jean Jacques, to which he afterwards added the name of the pb 



After his death General Henri Christophe took the first place amongst the 
whilst General Petion 1 was at the head of the mulattoes and corn- 


in Port-au-Prince, where he proclaimed another Constitution defining 
Haiti as a republic. To conciliate the Negro element, 
Christophe under his directions was elected as Presi- 
dent of the Republic. But Christophe wanted abso- 
lute power, and attempted to crush the mulattoes 
and capture Port-au-Prince. Failing this, he made 
Cap Haitien (formerly Cap Francais) his capital, and 
declared himself (1806) President of Haiti, but at a 
later date (181 1) King of Haiti. Petion, however, 
was elected President by the Senate at Port-au- 
Prince in 1807; in 1810 Rigaud returned from 
France, having escaped from prison, and was allowed 
by Petion to command in the south. The western 
extremity of the long Southern Province had become 
an independent chieftainship under a negro named 
Goman ; the Spaniards had reoccupied the eastern 
part of Hispaniola, and Christophe (181 1) had pro- 
claimed himself King Henri I, ostensibly of Haiti, 
but in reality only of the Northern Province. So 
that at the close of the great Napoleonic Wars the 
island of Hispaniola was divided into five more or 


Governor -General of Haiti, 1S04; 
Jacques I, Emperor of Haiti, 
1 804-6 

less independent states 
menace of French reoccupa- 
tion in 1814 procured a 
temporary truce between all 
these elements. General 
Petion, the mulatto President 
at Port-au-Prince, died in 
18 18. In many respects he 
was a good man and a 
clement ruler. He did much 
to assist Bolivar in his 
struggles against the power 
of Spain. He was succeeded 
by another mulatto, General 
Boyer. Boyer was energetic 
and honest and an able com- 
mander in warfare (as is 
shown all through the in- 
surrectionary struggle) as 
well as an administrator. 
He conquered the negro 
chieftain, Goman, in the 
south-west, resumed full con- 
trol over the Southern De- 
partment, and then prepared 
to try conclusions with the 


Cap of Liberty, caricature of a palm tree, banners, bayonets, cannon, 
war drum, anchor, and executioner's axe 

1 Rigaud had been sent back to France by Leclerc anc 
at the same time as Toussaint. 

was actually confined in the Chateau de Joux 




savage King Henri I, 1 who evaded this issue by committing suicide in 1819. 
Boyer then entered Cap Haitien, and three years later (1822) occupied Santo 
Domingo and reigned over the whole of Hispaniola 
as President for twenty-five years. 

Between 1822 and 1843 was the Golden Age of 
Haiti. 2 For the greater part of the time the mulattoes 
were politically in the ascendant and the affairs of 
state were conducted with some ability. France, 
who had in 181 7 manifested an intention of re- 
conquering Haiti, was gradually brought to adopt 
a less hostile attitude and at last induced to recog- 
nise Haitian independence subject to an indemnity 
equivalent to ,£6,000,000, which was to be distributed 
among the dispossessed planters or their heirs. This 
indemnity crippled Haiti for perhaps seventy years. 
In fact France could hardly have thought of a subtler 
revenge. The country could not always pay the in- 
stalments (^80,000 a year!) OUt Of revenue, and SO Afterwards Henr I, King of (Northern) 

until the issue of the American Civil War (say in Haiti ' l8lI " 2 ° 

1867) — after which all European aggression in the New World became a 

dangerous enterprise — Haiti went in constant dread 
of an attack by France, or by Spain acting with the 
permission of France : therefore the military party 
in Haiti had the excuse for keeping up an enormous 
standing army. 3 This system imposed on the 
country that curse of Military Government which 
has so delayed the progress of all the Central and 
South American republics. The army makes and 
unmakes the Presidents and baulks an}' effective 
measures of reform. At the present day Haiti only 
requires a standing army of 2000 men in addition 
to a country constabulary and town police ; but for 
nearly two-thirds of the nineteenth century this 
negro republic dared not disarm for fear of imme- 
diately falling a prey to either France or Spain. 

But during Boyer's Presidency the French in- 
demnity was reduced from a total of ,£6,000,000 
demanded by the Government of Charles X to the ^3,600,000 asked for by 
Louis Philippe's Cabinet. Louis Philippe in 1838 acknowledged the complete 


President of Haiti (ruler of all His- 
paniola after 1822), 1818-43 

1 Henri Christophe was born in the island of Grenada, October 6, 1757, and became a waiter at 
an hotel, where by amassing a large sum from tips, he managed to purchase his freedom. He migrated 
to St. Domingue, and eventually joined the forces of Toussaint Louverture, in which through his superior 
attainments he soon rose to be a general. He was talented and ambitious, but extraordinarily cruel. His 
wonderful palace of Sans Souci and his extraordinary fortifications near Cap Haitien have been well 
described by Mr. Hesketh Prichard and other writers. These buildings were to a great extent shattered 
and destroyed in the earthquake of 1842. Though an ignorant man himself, Christophe strongly favoured 
education and started a number of schools among the people of Northern Haiti. 

2 Sir Spencer St. John does not altogether confirm this. He writes in his Hayti, or the Black Republic 
(quoting Haitian writers) that the country was in a state of ruin, without trade or resources of any kind ; 
with peculation and jobbery paramount in all the public offices. 

a The army during General Boyer's Presidency was fixed in the budget at 45,000 men ; yet, subse- 
quently, it tended to be a "skeleton army" with a full cadre of officers, but the men only enumerated on 
paper for the most part and the appropriations for their pay and rations divided among the officers. 

I I 



independence of Haiti. 

President of Haiti, 1845-6 

Great Britain and the United States had done 
so by 1825. 

A concordat with the Pope in 1836 established 
Haiti definitely as a Christian country, though it is 
true that it was only superficially so ; and the in- 
coming priests, under little or no control, were often 
Europeans of evil lives and a source of profound 
scandal. In i860 a new concordat was signed with 
Rome, and the Haitian Church reorganised by a 
French hierarchy. Since then, though the Roman 
Catholic Church has become to a very great extent 
a foreign body, it has through its French priesthood 
done a great deal for Haiti in religion and education. 
Boyer's prestige was weakened with his fellow- 
countrymen by the exactions of France and Spain 
and was brought still lower by the terrible earth- 
quake of 1842, which destroyed the town of Cap 
Haitien and affected unfavourably all the north of 

Haiti. There were several hundred deaths, and 

many people lost all their property. Boyer " had 

ceased to please" the sovereign people, and upon 

the outbreak of an insurrection in the north abdi- 
cated and brought to a close an unprecedentedly 

long tenure of power in restless Haiti — a Presidency 

of twenty-five years. In spite of some mistakes he 

was by far the best President Haitian history has 

known and remarkably honest. He left more than a 

million dollars in the Treasury when he abdicated. 

A new Constitution was promulgated, but Boyer's 

immediate successor — Herard-Riviere, a light mulatto 

— only reigned four months. The Spanish portion 

of the island secured by Boyer was lost after Boyer's 

fall, and for many years the condition of the country 

was steadily retrograde. 

Between 1843 and 1847 there were no less than 

four presidents, two of whom, Herard-Riviere and 

I Pierrot, were mulattoes. The last of these, Riche, a 
negro, was a good ruler, but died after only a year's 
administration. Then the Ministry brought about 
the election of Soulouque, a captain of the Presi- 
dential guards, who had been born a slave and was 
an ignorant, heathen creature ; bloodthirsty and 

Soulouque organised a terrible massacre of the 
mulattoes in 1848, and proclaimed a new Constitu- 
tion in August, 1849 ; with himself as Emperor, and 
a military nobility of four princes, fifty-nine dukes, 
and a large number of marquises, counts, and 
barons. In 1852 (as if purposely to annoy and 
,,-, r-.™„ —„„ forestall Louis Napoleon) he was crowned at Port- 

137. FABRE GEFFRARD _ . _ ~. T ' „ r TT ... u • 

President of Haiti, i8 59 -6 7 au-Prince as Faustin I, Emperor of Haiti. His 


Afterwards Faustin I, Emperor of 
Haiti, 1847-59 



President of Haiti, 1867-9 

imperial reign of seven years was unparalleled in its political murders and 
financial waste. His attempts to reconquer the Spanish portion of Hispaniola 
were attended with crushing disasters. A mulatto 
general, Fabre Geffrard, at length placed himself 
at the head of popular discontent. The Emperor 
Faustin, finding his army deserting him, abdicated 
in January, 1859, ar, d was only able to leave Haiti 
alive by the intervention of British men-of-war and 
artillerymen. He retired to Jamaica in a British ship. 
General Geffrard's Government did some good 
for Haiti, but was hampered throughout its eight 
years of existence by incessant negro insurrections, 
the worst of which were headed by a negro named 
Salnave, who after Geffrard's resignation in March, 
1867, marched on Port-au-Prince and seized the 
Government. Like several of his successors, he was 
hastily voted President, " l'epee a la gorge." Con- 
stitutional government ceased to exist, and his 
Presidency was one long civil war, punctuated by 

some remarkable feats of arms on the part of 
mulatto generals, massacres ordered by Salnave, 
powder explosions, the landing of British and 
French marines, and the intervention of the 
Dominican Government, which arrested Salnave 
and handed him over to the revolutionary generals 
of Haiti to be tried for his crimes. He was de- 
servedly shot. 

His successor, Nissage-Saget, a mulatto, ruled as 
President for four peaceful years. Unfortunately, his 
Government for some inexplicable reason favoured 
as next candidate for the Presidency a creature 
called Domingue, whom Sir Spencer St. John justly 
characterised as " an ignorant and ferocious negro 
(born in Africa)." Domingue succeeded Nissage- 
Saget, and placed at the head of his ministry his 
nephew, Septimus Rameau. This last individual 
was one of the many evil geniuses of Haiti ; perhaps 
the most evil, since he did not merely kill (he caused 
the leading mulatto generals to be assassinated), 
imprison, banish ; but he plundered to such an 
extent that Haiti is still impoverished by his 
financial operations. President Domingue was en- 
tirely governed by his nephew, Septimus Rameau, 
and therefore must bear the blame for his iniquities. 
Septimus Rameau caused Domingue's Government 
to raise a loan in Paris of £2, 500,000. The loan 
was raised at a considerable discount, and the bulk 
of- the money never reached the Public Treasury of 
Haiti at all, but was divided amongst the friends 
and partisans of Domingue's Government. A small 
balance of this amount remained in the National President of Haiti, 1876-9 


President of Haiti, 1874-6 



President of Haiti, 1879-88 

Bank of Haiti, and it was in attempting to remove this and fly with it to 

Jamaica that Rameau was killed by the populace. 
France insisted that this loan should be recognised 
by the Haitian Government, so that it is a part of 
the financial burden which the modern Haitians 
have to bear. 

Domingue, " the ignorant and brutal negro," was 
succeeded as President by a mulatto general of 
eminence and education, Boisrond-Canal, but the 
latter's honest government of the country was made 
impossible by the intrigues and insurrections of 
another mulatto politician. About this time the 
Mulattoes became identified with the name or idea 
of a Liberal (Progressive) Party in Haiti, whilst the 
Blacks were more or less Conservatives and haters 
of the foreigner and of white civilisation. 

Naturally, the negroes were enormously in the 
ascendancy as regards numbers — more than ten to 

one — but had the mulattoes remained united and 

possessed something like real patriotism so as to 

subordinate personal ambitions and greed, they 

might have been able to remain in power and 

gradually raise Haiti by universal education to a 

great position in the West Indies. But every man 

thought and worked for himself only, and so after 

the brief intervals of sweetness and light under 

enlightened mulatto administration would follow 

terrible periods of negro misrule. 

One such period began with the election to 

the Presidency (by the mob of Port-au-Prince) of 

General Salomon in October, 1879. Salomon was 

a neero general and minister who had made himself 

notorious during the reign of Soulouque as a 

murderer not only by implication but as an actual ***• ° EN ' RAL *• D : L R !f ITIME 

, J J , F,. . t^ ■ c 1 • President of Haiti, 188S-9 

assassin of mulatto notabilities. During one 01 his 

long exiles he had married a white Frenchwoman, 
and at the commencement of his Presidency in 1880 
he seemed to be making some effort to reconcile 
the opposing parties representing various degrees of 
colour and to show that Haiti was not adverse to 
White enterprise interesting itself in her develop- 
ment. But these good intentions did not last long, 
and Salomon's reign was characterised, like that 
of all his negro predecessors, by innumerable political 
murders, insurrections, incendiary fires, reckless issue 
of paper money, and foreign humiliations. Event- 
ually in 1882 he abdicated to save his life, and fled 
to Cuba. His successor, General Legitime (who, of 
course, had led the revolt against him) was a dark 
143. general hyppolite !bE ; mulatto. His tenure of power also ended in flight— 
President of Haiti, 1889-96 to New York. Then came General Hyppolite, who 



was a negro, and whose rule was a period of relative tranquillity and 
some slight recovery. He, moreover, died peaceably during his Presidency. 
He was succeeded by another negro as President — 
General Tiresias Augustin Simon Sam, whose daily 
life seemed, to Mr. Hesketh Prichard, 1 "to be chiefly 
passed in playing draughts near the window of a 
room opening upon a balcony which overlooks the 
Champ de Mars." 

At the end of General Sam's Presidency some 
movement was made to elect General Firmin, a 
mulatto ; and one or two other mulatto candidates 
for the Presidency were in favour. But somehow or 
other the negro General commanding the Haitian 
army in the Northern Province marched down from 
Cap Haitien on Port-au-Prince and arrived there 
just as the election was coming on. His troops 
permeated the streets, shouting " Vive Nord Alexis, 
President d'Haiti," and half unconsciously, without *44- general tiresia: 

. , , • 1 1 1 • 1 r President of Haiti, 1896-1902 

anybody knowing that he was a candidate for 

power, he was elected to the supreme post by the Legislature. 

^_ Under Nord Alexis the reign of terror 

began again. Every mulatto (more especi- 
ally) possessing any independence of charac- 
ter and presuming to criticise the mistakes 
of the Government was punished, or, if they 
could get at him, surprised at night and 
summarily shot. In this way occurred the 
political murders of March, 1908, the re- 
membrance of which was vivid when I 
reached Haiti at the close of that year. 
Whether the murders were dictated or not by 
the household of the President little matters 
so far as his responsibility was concerned. 
Yet Nord Alexis is living peaceably in 
Jamaica at the present day, no doubt very 
well off. As to the allegations of State 
plundering attributable to him, his wife, or 
his Administration, it is preferable to refer 
my readers to the Haitian Press of 1908-9. 

The actual cause of his downfall was the 
following. Considerable losses to the State 
(which derives much of its revenue from 
the export duty on coffee) were occurring 
through merchants at the seaports getting 
the General in command (or some civilian 
official in charge of the customs) to charge 
them only half the export duty due on large 
consignments of coffee ; on the understand- 
ing that this 50 per cent fraud on the Haitian Government was shared between 

President of Haiti, 1902-8 

1 Where Black Rules White, by Hesketh Prichard, 1900. 

1 66 


exporter and official. In other words, the exporting merchant would pay only 
50 per cent of the export duties actually due to the Government on his coffee 
and would give in specie or notes 25 per cent of the export duty to the 
fraudulent official. It was believed by General Nord Alexis that frauds on a 
very large scale of this kind (I cannot say if they did exist — I am told not) 
were going on in the Southern Province of Haiti, which was under the strong 
local government of General Auguste Simon. Simon was very popular 
throughout the south of Haiti, which he had governed (and governed reason- 


ably well and with great clemency) for over twenty years. He was a pure- 
blooded negro, but a person held in high esteem locally on account of his 
kindliness and peaceable ways. Public attention was more and more directed 
to Simon in preference to the noisy General Firmin, who was the oft-recurring 
adversary of Nord Alexis. It occurred to the late President of Haiti (after he 
had burnt down a third of Port-au-Prince in his search for " Firministe " arms 
and ammunition) that General Simon wanted looking up and punishing for 
permitting these frauds on the customs-house. He summoned him, therefore, 
in October, 1908, to Port-au-Prince to give an account of his stewardship. 
Simon anticipated only too surely the perfunctory court-martial and fusillade. 
Therefore, he wisely marched on Port-au-Prince at the head of his better- 


disciplined troops, and proclaimed the downfall of Nord Alexis. The army of 
the latter melted away on the approach of Simon, or joined his force. 

The only recourse of the hated Nord Alexis was to drive down to the beach 
with the French Minister, covered with the French flag, and embark on a 
French war-vessel which landed him in due course in Jamaica. The hurried 
election of General Simon to the Presidency followed, and I must say that 
although he had only been in office for less than two months before I reached 
that disturbed country, the effects of his new administration seemed highly 
beneficial. Practically a political amnesty was declared and at most two or 
three murderers were executed. It would be ungracious to say that the merit 
for this clemency lies with the unpublished exhortations of the American 
Government, though these may have had some effect on certain of the poli- 
ticians who had gone over to General Simon and were now eager for revenge 
on the instruments of Alexis's tyranny. But General Simon himself seems to 
be an essentially humane person with a horror of bloodshed. 

He has the chance to render his tenancy of the Presidency illustrious by 
abating the military power, which is the scourge of Haiti ; and for the first 
time in the history of that distracted negro republic, allowing the Constitution 
to have fair play, and its provisions to be enforced and administered by the 
ordinary processes of the law. 

After this resume of the history of Haiti, any further description of French 
dealings with the Negro in America and Africa must come rather as an anti- 
climax. But France has not done with the question in America. She still 
rules — and now rules well — some 370,000 negroes and negroids in the New 
World, in Cayenne (Guiana), which has an area of 30,500 square miles, and in 
the French Antilles (the islands of St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, Guadeloupe, 
and Martinique), with a superficies of 1069 square miles. Thus she possesses 
31,570 square miles of tropical America, with a very considerable commerce 
(an approximate annual value of £3,656,000), and not without political im- 

In 1S02 the First Consul restored the status of slavery in French America, 
and thereby lost Haiti indefinitely. During the Hundred Days, Napoleon 
(perhaps hoping to conciliate Great Britain) theoretically abolished the slave- 
trade with Africa as a lawful commerce for French ships, but legislation 
on the subject was not in force till 18 18. Between 1830 and 1848 (under 
Louis Philippe) Libreville was founded on the estuary of the Gaboon River in 
Equatorial West Africa, as a place of refuge for freed slaves taken by the 
French cruisers from the slave-ships captured off the West Coast of Africa. 
American Protestant missionaries were encouraged to settle in this Gaboon 
region, and that is how the Gorilla was discovered. 

In 1848, after several partial emancipations, the status of slavery was 
abolished throughout the French dominions. 

The island of Martinique — the birthplace of the Empress Josephine and 
the early home of Francoise d'Aubigny [Madame de Maintenon] — passed 
through a period of remarkable prosperity between 17 13 and 1762. During 
this time its slave population rose to a total of something like 85,000 ; and 
conjoined with this were about 3000 free negroes and negroids, and 7000 
whites. 1 The introduction of the coffee shrub in 1726' 2 (by Desclieux, from 

1 Including the descendants of 300 Portuguese Jews from Brazil. 

2 Apparently, two years earlier coffee plants had been sent to Martinique from Surinam. 



the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, where it had been received from Arabia) added 
greatly to the wealth of Martinique and the rest of the French West Indian 

Between 1794 and 1802, and 1809 and 181 5, Martinique was in British 
'hands (as it had been for short periods once or twice before). The British, 
who much wished to possess it permanently, always called it punctiliously 
" Martinico," 1 preferring to think of its distant Spanish discovery rather than 
•its long prosperity under French development. Like St. Domingue, it was 
handed over to the British in 1794 by the Royalist Planter party, who were 

infuriated at the abolition of slavery by 
the French Assembly in that year. As 
the British retained the institution of 
slavery till they had re-transferred the 
island to the French Government in 1802, 
or more definitely in 181 5, it was not till 
1 816 that the French authorities had to 
face the growing demand for emancipa- 
tion from the French negroes, here and 
in Guadeloupe ; the more insistent, since 
many of the slaves were in touch with the 
free citizens of Haiti who had successfully 
thrown off the yoke of France. In 18 16, 
1822, and 1824 there were serious slave- 
risings in Martinique; and in 183 1 "a 
veritable civil war." 2 This last arose 
because of the bitter disappointment that 
the French Revolution of 1830 was not 
followed by emancipation. As a matter 
of fact, so serious was the attitude of 
the negro population in Guadeloupe and 
Martinique in 1831, that a partial emanci- 
pation was at once decided on, and 
measures were taken in succeeding years 
which increased the numbers of free 
persons of colour by leaps and bounds, so 
that in 1848, when slavery was definitely 
abolished by the French Parliament, there 
were only a few thousand slaves in the 
French Antilles remaining to be liberated. 
Compensation was granted in this year to the owners at the rate of 500 francs 
per slave. 

Guadeloupe had much the same eighteenth-century history as Martinique. 
Whenever France was at war with England, England seized and held these two 
(and other) West Indian islands. In 1789 Guadeloupe reached (like Martinique) 
the apogee of its prosperity under the regime of slavery. In that year there was a 
population of 14,000 whites, over 3000 free negroes and mulattoes, and over 90,000 
slaves. Its annual trade amounted to nearly ;£ 1,300,000. The decree abolishing 
slavery, of February 1 ith, 1794, initiated the same civil war here as elsewhere in 
the French West Indies, and the Royalist party admitted the British troops. 

1 The Creole-negro name for the island is " Mantinino." 

2 Les Petites Antilles, by P. Chemin Dupontes. 





But here Guadeloupe history followed a line of its own. Soon after the 
British had garrisoned Guadeloupe with 20,000 soldiers arrived one of the giant 
personalities of the French Revolution to whom nothing was impossible, 
Victor Hugues, sent as Commissioner of the French Republic to put the 
slavery abolition decree of February 1 ith, 1794, in operation. He brought with 
him a force of 1 100 French soldiers. Realising the situation as soon as he had 
landed, he appealed to the negro slaves whom he had come to enfranchise. 
They sprang to arms, and in the course of a few months he had not only forced 
the British to evacuate Guadeloupe with their 20,000 men, but had carried the 
war into several British West India islands, ravaging, ransoming, burning, and 
arming negroes against the white man. Unfortunately for his ultimate success 
he hated a French non-republican more bitterly than an Englishman, and 


slew many of his fellow-countrymen with the guillotine. In 1802 he was 
passed on to Cayenne, where he radoucissait his fury, and before the British 
and Portuguese turned him out in 1809 he did much to improve the conditions 
of French Guiana and of its negro slaves. 

After 1848 and the Abolition of slavery the French Antillean negroes 
absolutely refused to work on the plantations, and the trade of Guadeloupe and 
Martinique fell in annual volume from .£4,160,000 to £2,120,000. A labour 
force was necessary — under the system then and now prevailing, of large 
properties under European control. Whether at that juncture indeed [just 
following on abolition, when the negro after two centuries of forced labour 
wanted a rest] it would have been possible or wise to adopt a new land scheme 
at great expense and turn all the ex-slaves into petty proprietors is a question 
of some interest : it may be that a subdivision of the land and a system of petite 
culture will be the eventual solution of the commercial decline of the French 




Antilles. But as the big sugar-growing properties were still maintained after 
1848 it was necessary to obtain for their working a supply of certain and 
uncapricious labour. A new " slave-trade " was started with Africa, but under 
improved conditions of transport. Through a Marseilles commercial house con- 
nected with the Loango coast and the Lower Congo about 16,000 negro slaves 
of the Congo-Gaboon regions were " ransomed " and then liberated, to be 
immediately afterwards inscribed as labourers contracted for work in the 

Antilles for a term of five years, at 
the end of which time they had a 
right to be repatriated. 1 

Simultaneously from 1852 to 1862 
over 10,000 Indian kulis were im- 
ported from French India and over 
2000 Chinese. But the redemption- 
liberation-and-apprenticeship of the 
Loango and Congo negroes was fast 
degenerating into a bad form of slave- 
trade and excited many remonstrances 
from England. A convention between 
Britain and France in 1861 put a stop 
to the " redeemed apprentice" system, 
and in place of this the British 
Government threw open to France all 
British India as a kuli-recruiting 
ground. As a result, at least 60,000 
East Indians were brought to the 
French Antilles between 1862 and 
1884, in which year all further foreign 
immigration was stopped. The kulis 
gradually dwindled in numbers (by 
disease, intermarriage with other races, 
and a return to India) until there are 
scarcely more than 15,000 at the 
present day, of whom most are to be 
found in . Guadeloupe (in Martinique, 
about 600). 

This foreign labour, however, en- 
abled the French Antilles to maintain 
their export trade to a great extent after the abolition of slavery ; though 
East Indian — still more so, Chinese — labour proved to be inferior in vigour 2 to 
that of the Negro. After a lapse of thirty or forty years the coloured popula- 
tion descended from the slaves began once more to seek for work. But it is 
the descendants of the Loango-Congo negro contract-labourers and of the 
kulis and Chinese which remain the best agriculturists. The Martiniquais or 


1 As a matter of fact, they never availed themselves of this right, or if they claimed it, there was 
none to hear and defend their rights. But they obviously liked their treatment in the French Antilles 
and proved altogether superior to the old-time slaves. About 9300 went to Martinique and 6700 to 

2 " Whilst an Indian gives about 220 days' work out of the 365, and a Chinaman only 150, an African 
is good for 280 days' work in the year. . . . The constitution of the Indian lends itself badly to the hard 
work of agriculture." (P. Chemin Dupontes, Les Petites Antilles.) But it is freely stated that East 
Indian kulis in Cayenne and the French Antilles have not been well treated by their French employers. 



Guadeloupiens of the old slave stock prefer to go in for professions and trades. 
Education is at present badly given, or is of an inappropriate character for a 
peasantry mainly agricultural. " There is a ' Lycee ' or public college in 
Guadeloupe and Martinique at which teaching (without any 'colour' distinction) 
is free and of first-class character : but ' first-class ' from the point of view of the 
middle- class population of an important French provincial town. It has but 
little relation to life in the West Indies" {from a correspondent). But here as in 
Haiti the French have known how to communicate to their coloured people the 
French genius for cooking. Martinique and Guadeloupe turn out the best 
cooks in the New World. And these Martinique and Guadeloupe negroes 
are usually of polished manners, even if they do not conform to the ideal 
morality of the Anglo-Saxon. The present negro 
and negroid population of the two dependencies 
is about 330,000. 

At different times during the nineteenth cen- 
tury the constitutions of Martinique and Guade- 
loupe (the last-named includes the two little 
French Windward Islands, St. Barthelemy and 
St. Martin) were shaped with increasing liberality 
in popular representation. They now possess 
considerable powers of self-government, except 
in fiscal matters. Each island has a Governor 
and a Privy Council, and an elective Council- 
General or Assembly of thirty-six members. 
These thirty-six councillors are elected on a 
universal male suffrage, distributed without dis- 
tinction of race or colour. 

Each island also elects two deputies and one 
senator to represent the colony in the French 
Parliament, 1 and it is not prescribed that these 
citizens of the French Antilles should be white men. rp „ , „ ITTAM . „„„„„„ 


It will be long before the stately matrons 
After the definite abandonment Of Haiti in of Cayenne adopt the Directoire style. 

1825, French interest in Cayenne revived. This 

colony had been in Portuguese occupation from 1809 to 18 17; and despite 
the 18 1 5 abolition of the slave-trade in the French possessions, a good many 
negroes found their way as slaves to work in the sugar plantations and to search 
for the gold which had been first discovered by a French settler in 1819. 2 

The Portugo-Brazilian occupation of Cayenne from 1809 to 18 17 brought 
with it a considerable addition to the slave population, but conferred benefits 
on the Brazilian Empire and on the French colony, for while on the one 
hand the Portuguese found in the plantations and gardens of French Guiana 
valuable spice trees and other vegetable products of tropical Asia and 
Africa — carefully brought to Cayenne by French navigators and governors 

1 It would be a very satisfactory step towards the effective federation of the British Empire (which we 
talk so much about and make very few sacrifices of constitutional pedantry to effect) if the British West 
Indies and East Indies and other regions under the direct rule of the United Kingdom could likewise 
have their elected representatives (of all shades of colour) in the Imperial Parliament expressing the 
wants and aspirations of the coloured people through the mouths of coloured men, and not the cold or 
unconvincing deputy of a white man. 

2 About ,£550,000 worth of gold — chiefly worked by negro labour — was exported from Cayenne in 
1907. This is the average annual output. 


and now carried back by the retiring Portuguese to their Brazilian Empire — 
the French learnt from Portuguese Indians where and how to look for alluvial 

In 1852 Cayenne had been again adopted by the French Government as 
a region to which criminals or political prisoners might be sent as convict 
settlers. In the following year it was decided that convicts of African or 
Asiatic race might also be transported to Guiana ; and after 1864 it was mainly 
from the prisons of Algeria, Senegal, Pondichery, and Indo-China that the 
penitentiary settlements were recruited. The preponderating races among 
these " recidivistes " were Arab and Negro. A good many Algerians and 
Senegalese have in course of time found their way as freemen or runaways 
into Dutch and British Guiana, and into Northern Brazil. Occasionally they 
have proved themselves desperate criminals, but more often the climate and 
discipline of French Guiana have tamed them. They have been popular as 
husbands — one might almost say as "sires" — among the Guianan negresses, 
and have during the last fifty years sensibly modified for the better the physical 
type of the negro in these regions. 



I SAID good-bye to Cuba under a sunset of crimson and gold, a reminder of 
the old Spanish colours which eleven years ago were still waving over the 
island — the red and yellow that the Cubans might well have retained (with 
a different device) in their national flag instead of the inept red, white, and blue, 
which two-thirds of the world now adopt, without reason, as national colours. 


After a rough passage across the sixty or seventy miles of strait between 
the two islands, Haiti received me in the blue and silver of placid water girdled 
with lofty ranges of mountains wreathed or crowned with white clouds. The 
open arms of Haiti are two peninsulas of alpine heights that enclose a vast gulf 
of sheltered sea screened from rough winds and vexing currents ; a gulf which 
would make the safest and amplest naval station in the world. 


! 74 


Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, is placed near the south-westernmost 
edge of a broad plain, the cul-de-sac of the old French colonists ; but its 
suburbs are over the spurs of the southern mountains. In daylight, viewed from 
steamer deck in the outer harbour, it does not present a poor appearance. This 
is largely due to the magnificent new cathedral, which is placed so as to give a focus 
to the town. Without this cathedral (of French design and Belgian construc- 
tion), Port-au-Prince, two or three years ago, must have presented a somewhat 
paltry aspect for a capital city. The other notable buildings are seldom 
remarkable for stateliness of design or prominence of position, though there are 
some handsome churches. Behind the actual shore-line (to the south and east) 
the land rises rapidly into green highlands, studded with fantastic palaces, and 
the highlands enlarge into mountains of almost Alpine character. On the sky 
ridges of these may be seen from the shipping in a harbour of intense tropical 

heat, the silhouettes of the tall pine trees, 
which indicate a land of cool, invigorating 
temperature within half a day's climb. 

I first saw Port-au-Prince in the late 
evening, and the effect, after the brilliant, 
variegated lighting of Cuban and American 
towns, was disheartening. We might have 
been approaching some sullen, pirate capital 
of Haiti two hundred and fifty years ago, 
desirous of offering no attraction or assistance 
to the inquiring stranger. A few dull yellow 
lights blinked from the dense foliage of the 
suburbs. Here and there a glowing red lamp 
seemed to indicate danger. Although Port- 
au-Prince, with its suburbs, is a city of 104,000 
inhabitants, and is the capital of an indepen- 
dent state of some 10,500 square miles in area, 
it possesses no system of public illumination. 

When one lands here in the morning 
(steamers may not communicate with the 
shore after sunset) the impression is more 
favourable, though docks and wharves are absolutely non-existent, and 
landing from or boarding the steamer means a long and weary row. But 
it is obvious that Port-au-Prince — thanks to German, American, and Haitian 
enterprise — has made considerable strides of late towards the amenities of 
life. It is true that in dry weather the streets near the seaside are intolerable 
with their clouds of malodorous dust, that there is no continuous side walk 
along any of the streets, and that, with the exception of about half a mile of 
recently macadamised roadway, the paving of the streets is monstrous in its 
grotesque imperfections. But the houses are by no means uncomely, nor is the 
town nearly so dirty as it was described by various writers down to the year 
1900. Either they exaggerated, or their criticisms stirred up the civic 
authorities of Port-au-Prince to effect considerable improvements in the cleanli- 
ness of the streets. There are shops for most purposes and at least two decent 
hotels, where the cooking is superior to the average cuisine in Jamaica, Cuba, 
or the Southern United States. 

A welcome surprise which greets the visitor to Port-au-Prince who goes 
from any other part of America (not excepting Jamaica and the other British 

Port-au-Prince, Haiti 



West India islands) is the greater cheapness of living. European luxuries are 
perhaps rather dear, but not the essentials of life— good bread, meat, fish, eggs, 
vegetables, fruit, coffee, and milk. In fact in Port-au-Prince it seemed to me 
that one returned to the prices and the comforts of Europe, especially in so far 
as good food, well cooked, is concerned. Any one not content with Haitian 
beef, mutton, fowls, turkeys, eels, sea fish, lobsters, vegetables, oranges, grape 
fruit, mangoes, pineapples, guavas, coffee and chocolate must indeed be hard to 

The President's palace, situated with its surrounding garden on one corner 
of the extensive Champ de Mars, is a turreted, verandahed erection, apparently 
roofed and faced with corrugated iron, or with some cold grey glistening metal. 


The general appearance is not unpleasing, though a little " baroque," 
especially when in times of festivity it is extravagantly decorated with the blue 
and red Haitian colours. But the so-called garden which surrounds it is a 
dreary trampled waste perpetually paraded by soldiers. Not far away is the 
range of Government offices, all in one building. In front of this, painted a 
gaudy red and blue, is one of those extraordinary rostrums found in every town 
in Haiti, large or small, whether dating or not from the time of the French 
colonisation I do not know. From these open-air pulpits addresses are made 
to the populace, and laws are proclaimed. The Champ de Mars has, no doubt, 
been much improved of late, and may even in time be made an open space of 
agreeable appearance. At present it consists of irregular patches of turf, 
crossed in many directions by roads authorised and unauthorised. Some of the 
former are macadamised. 

The houses in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince are for the most part built 



by Germans, and are really tasteful in their architecture, cool, comfortable, and 
surrounded by beautiful gardens. The public cemetery, on the other hand, 
is a staggering mixture of beauty (vegetation and the old tombs), grotesque- 
ness (the modern miniature houses and goblin huts erected to house the 
deceased), and horrors. 2b icv 

Port-au-Prince possesses market buildings which are worthy of Paris in 
size and design, but the interior is nauseously filthy, so much so that the 
mass of the country people prefer to establish themselves in open-air market- 
places away from the great buildings erected for their use. In these open-air 
markets there is endless material for the painter or photographer. The sellers 
are mainly women, who have journeyed into Port-au-Prince from the country, 


riding sideways on donkeys, horses, or mules, situated, it may be, on the top of 
enormous panniers of provisions. Nearly every woman wears a large and 
picturesque straw hat, fastened by a leather band under the chin that ends in 
little twiddles of leather so absurdly resembling the pointed chin beard of the 
negro man that the market-women look like men dressed in women's clothes. 
These clothes are always ample and picturesque, usually blue cotton, or else 
gay prints with many flounces. Some of the women in the market-place are 
selling fish which an artist would purchase for their colours alone. They look 
like the poissons d ' Avril in Eastertide shop-windows — such combinations of blue 
and orange, scarlet and mauve, yellow and black, pink and green. Other 
vendors are surrounded by a troop of tethered turkeys, fine plump fowls, or 
Muscovy ducks. Goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs wander where they please. 
Pigeons and an occasional green parrot lend variety to the immense crowd of 
humans, beasts, and birds. 



One curious point about Port-au-Prince and the whole of Haiti and Santo 
Domingo is that the turkey buzzard (Cathartes) is entirely absent, a strange 
contrast to all the other West India islands and the Southern United States. 
Haiti has no other scavengers but pigs and dogs. 

The water-supply of Port-au-Prince is grumbled at by the residents, but 
though it may not be as perfect as tradition relates it was under the French 
Government, it seemed to me to be very much better than in many other West 
Indian towns I have visited. Some 
of the fountains are very picturesque, 
and obviously date from the French 
period of over a hundred years ago. 
All over this large town there is an 
abundant supply of good, fresh water 
for the poor as well as the rich, and 
the drinking-water usually served in 
hotels and private houses seemed to 
me pure and good. 

Port-au-Prince is always hot, often 
dusty, and a good deal afflicted by 
mosquitoes ; it has many other faults, 
no doubt, and yet it is not without 
attractions. Ice is abundant and 
cheap. There are at least two good 
newspapers, one of which gives a 
very ample supply of European 
cablegrams. It is a noisy place ; the 
dogs are perfectly sickening in their 
midnight howlings, alarums, and ex- 
cursions ; there is too much military 
music, and on festivals people let off 
guns and fire crackers. And yet it 
is one of those towns that by a 
strange inconsistency one is sorry to 


leave and glad to return to. The 



He is represented as the declarer of Haitian independence in 
1S04. [This statue, which is of hollow metal with a flag of 
painted tin, is an ugly object, and ought to be removed] 

educated Haitians, however they may 

mismanage their public affairs, are 

most agreeable people to meet in 

society — witty, amusing, well read, except in the natural history and botany of 

their own country. There is a very pleasant club where the European and 

American residents meet the natives of Port-au-Prince, and a delightful 

friendship seems to exist amongst all the foreign residents. 

I have referred to the German suburban residences of Port au Prince, 
especially those which lie on the south-east of the main town. But perhaps the 
most beautiful district within easy reach of the capital is round about Diquiny 
and Bizoton. The railway runs along the shore road from Port-au-Prince to 
the vicinity of these outlying bourgs, and there is as well a fairly good carriage- 
road, with picturesque old bridges over the innumerable streamlets that come 
tearing down from the mountains. Here, between Port-au-Prince and Leogane, 
many of the beautiful country seats are little more than modernised reconstruc- 
tions of the estates of the French planters. The district is musical with a 
never-absent ripple of falling water, and the extravagant tropical vegetation is 


i 7 8 


reduced to orderly pictures by masonry runnels and conduits of the old 
French irrigation systems. Probably nowhere else can one see such a complete 
riot of brilliant colour. The clouds, attracted by the high mountains, are 
always a feature in the landscape — dazzling white cumulus at noonday, becom- 
ing flamingo-red in reflection of the sunset. The high mountains are purple- 
grey. The sea of the Gulf of Haiti is the most brilliant blue-green. The 
distant town of Port-au-Prince is pink and white and grey. Around the many- 
coloured houses are groves of crimson-scarlet Poinsettia or smalt-blue Petrcea, 
together with roses, oleanders, allamandas, hibiscus, and a hundred and one 
flowering shrubs and creepers of the tropics. As to the foliage trees, there are 
royal palms and fan palms, trees unknown to me with large glossy leaves like 
magnolias, the primly perfect mahogany trees, orange trees loaded with fruit, the 
Haitian oak, mimosas, flamboyants. This region is indeed an earthly paradise, 


with the Delectable mountains behind, up which, if you choose, every morning 
you may ride to the pine-ridges and the air of North America. 

Every square mile of Haiti (I should think) is beautiful, or at least is 
interesting. The greater part consists of ranges of incredibly tortured 
mountains. No doubt in the far distant past it has been the scene of 
volcanic energy. Yet there is not much of its area covered with igneous rock. 
For the most part the formations seem to be of limestone, a limestone which 
in places is such a pure, cold white as to look like snow. In the very high 
mountains — nearly nine thousand feet — the hasty observer might well be 
excused for believing that he saw vestiges of snow in the crevices or deep clefts 
of stream valleys. In reality it is due to the rush of water from the summits, 
which tears away the surface soil and reveals the limestone. In the dry season 
many a river valley is blazing white with its tumbled masses of chalky stones 
and pebbles. 

The plains of Haiti occupy but a small portion of its area, and they are 



usually fertile, or could be rendered so by irrigation. Where they are unculti- 
vated they are overgrown with a low scrub of very thorny mimosa and logwood, 
but even this is rendered tolerable by the highly scented yellow blossoms and 
by the clumps of weird-looking cacti. Here in this low-lying country are 
specimens of arboreal cactus worthy of Mexico. A form of prickly pear {Nopalea) 
grows to a height of about thirty feet in a solid stem, and pushes out in all 
directions great pudgy hands of flattened leaf-stalk, studded (as though with 
giant rubies) by red flower-buds or blossoms, and havingr a stramre resemblance 
to some Hindu god or goddess with innumerable hands. A species of Cerens 
(bristling with white thorns) grows 
in erect columns. A thornless type 
of Corns is so grotesque in the 
pointing of its fat, gouty fingers that 
it, together with another writhing, 
snake-like arboreal cactus, might be 
the fit surroundings of an enchanter's 
cave in a stage feerie. Perhaps, how- 
ever, the most beautiful item in the 
vegetation of the plains and moun- 
tains of Haiti (ranging from sea-level 
to seven thousand feet) is the agave 
with its basal cluster of immense, 
bright green lily leaves and its flower 
stalk twenty to thirty feet in height 
tufted with clusters of golden-yellow 
blossoms. In and out of the corollas 
of these golden flowers dart wood- 
peckers of crimson, black, and gold, 
starlings of black and silvery yellow, 
metallic humming-birds, and innumer- 
able small quits of variegated tints. 
Hovering over these and occasionally 
making a successful dart are small 
kestrels of bright chestnut orange and 
dove-grey, with bars and splotches 
of deep black. Columbus noted the 
abundance of bird-life when he dis- 
covered this great island, and referred especially to the songs of the " nightin- 
gales." [These were really mocking birds, apparently the same as the 
/\merican species.] 

The scenery of Lake Azuey (beyond the Cul-de-sac plain) is very beauti- 
ful. Its salt waters are of an intense blue-green, and the surrounding mountains, 
clothed with forests of lignum vitce, glaucous green fan-palms, and straight- 
stemmed pine-trees rise to altitudes of six to nine thousand feet. At its 
eastern, Domingan end is a colony of the scarlet American flamingo. Minia- 
ture wild boars (domestic pigs run wild two or three hundred years ago ; 
see p. 187) come down to its clean sandy beaches to search for stranded 
fish or other water offal. 

And what may not be said in detail about the Haitian mountains? The 
highest (Mont de la Selle) is a few feet under 9000, but the ridges rise so 
abruptly from sea-level or from the tremendous gorges which separate one 



the negro in the new world 

massif from another that you get the full value of their height. They have 
been carved by water, sun, and wind into the most exaggerated relief, and many 
of their crevices are illuminated by the fissures of limestone. Here and there is 
a curious intrusive hummock of bright red clay, only partially revealed because 
of the exuberant vegetation. This again assumes so many tints owing to the 
season or the sunlight that the Haitian hill-sides frequently resemble a turkey 
carpet with their scrub of scarlet fuchsia, rose-pink honeysuckle, intensely green 
bracken and maidenhair ferns, and the mauve-and-white of certain Composites, 
the purple of many labiates, the yellow-and-silver of everlasting flowers. The 
large white blossoms of the local blackberry (which has a most delicious fruit 


the size of a mulberry) should not be omitted in describing this mountain 

In the dells of the mountains, about 4000 feet, are handsome jungles of tree 
ferns. Everywhere grows the glossy green agave, with its lofty column of gold 
flower-clusters. The aromatic scent of the pine woods is indescribably good to 
the jaded white man exhausted with the tropics. 

And nearly everywhere, except on the highest peaks and ridges, may be 
seen the picturesque and happy peasantry — happy if dwelling far enough away 
from the oppression of the town governments. Wherever there is a fairly level 
patch or plateau there is a collection of thatched huts surrounded by an 
emerald grove of bananas, and by fields of maize, sorghum, cabbages, and 
sugar-cane. The country swarms with domestic birds and beasts — horses, 
donkeys, pigs, dogs, cattle, goats and sheep, turkeys, fowls, and guinea-fowls. 
The peasants usually wear clothes of blue-dyed cotton and huge straw hats. 



The dress of the men is a blue gaberdine and trousers ; that of the women is a 
loose robe not unlike the Egyptian costume. 

The scenery of such parts of the Republic of Santo Domingo (Republica 
Dominicana) as I was enabled to have a glimpse of, naturally resembled that of 
Haiti. I am informed by Americans that the landscapes of the auriferous 
Cibao range of mountains (highest peaks averaging 10,000 feet) were surpass- 
ingly grand, and the pine forests of Pinus bahamensis more abundant than in 
Haiti. The highest point in the whole of the Antilles seems to occur in Santo 
Domingo — the Loma de la Tina. This apparently has never been ascended, 
and its guessed-at altitude (10,300 feet) has not been as yet confirmed by the 


American surveys. In the more northern part of the Cibao range is the 
striking peak of Yaqui, about 9700 feet. 

^"-■The Spanish civilisation of the Dominican Republic (which has an area 
of nearly 18,000 square miles) gives a picturesqueness to town or village life 
which is quite different to the colonial French or purely Negro aspect of 
inhabited Haiti. The game-cock is everywhere much in evidence. There 
are some negroes in San Domingo, but the mass of the population is of Spanish 
or mixed Spanish-Amerindian origin — a handsome, well-set-up, grave, virile- 
looking people of olive or pale yellow complexion. The Americans, who are 
giving a general direction and advisory control to Dominican affairs, are effect- 
ing wonders of happy and wise development in the exploration, communica- 
tions, industries, and commerce of Santo Domingo. Their customs officials 
and surveyors are of the best American pioneer type. 

••The area of the entire island of Hispaniola is computed to be about 
28,250 square miles. The area of the Dominican Republic may be stated 
approximately at 17,750, and that of Haiti at 10,500 square miles. These com- 
putations at present satisfy neither Santo Domingo nor Haiti. The Spanish 



republic claims the old French frontier as being the eastern limit of Haiti, and 
would assign to the Haitians a total area of about 9200 square miles, equivalent 
to the extent of the old French colony. The Haitians, however, claim at least 
1300 square miles between the Artibonite River and the Cordillera, more 
especially the districts of Banica and Hinche, and base their claims on the 
fact that this land has been in Haitian occupation since the time of Toussaint 
Louverture, and that the natives of the disputed land speak French and are 


The limits of the old French frontier have nothing to do with the question. 
Between 1825 and 1844 the Haitian Government ruled the whole island, and 
when in i860 it admitted the independence of the Spanish-speaking portion, it 


naturally attributed to Haiti the regions remaining in Haitian occupation and 
distinct ethnographically from the Spanish-speaking portion of Hispaniola. 

The United States will take care that this frontier argument is settled 
amicably, and if it goes by the abstract justice of the matter will see that Haiti 
emerges from the dispute with at least 10,500 square miles of territory. 

The actual figures as to the population of Haiti given in the latest returns 
for 1908 are 2,794,366, of whom 1,118,000 are men and 1,676,366 are women 
(there are about 250 white and 6,000 coloured foreigners). The Government 
publishes no statistics on the subject, but allows journalists to collect them 
from the local authorities. According to the aforesaid Haitian journalists or 
publicists, the rate of increase of births over deaths in the towns is very high ; 
but in the country districts a serious mortality occurs amongst children under 
the age of five, which sensibly lessens the national increase, reducing it from 
about 25 per cent per annum to about 5 per cent. 

From my own inquiries, researches, and glances at the country I should 
think 2,700,000 a modest estimate of the Haitian population, if by " Haitian'* 
is meant the negro race in Western Hispaniola speaking Creole French. I 



should be inclined to put it at 3,000,000 ; and Americans who have travelled 
over both Haiti and the Dominican Republic agree with me on this point. 
But it must be remembered that during the last thirty or forty years the war- 
like half-Spanish population of San Domingo has made marked aggressions on 


the original French frontier, thus extending the Spanish (Domingan) influence 
over that portion of the island still inhabited by Creole-speaking negroes. 

The population of the Dominican Republic is either more carefully esti- 
mated at the present day or has risen markedly since the Government of the 
United States imposed peace on that distracted country. It is now computed 
at 900,000, and offers a marked contrast physically and mentally to the 

i8 4 


Haitians. There are Spanish-speaking negroes in parts of the Dominican 
State, but they are not numerous. Large negro communities in this region 
are limited to the region of the Haitian frontier, and obviously represent 
former patches of French influence or rule which have been wrested from the 
Haitian Government since its decline in warlike power sixty years ago. 

The real Domingans, that is to say, the non-negro, half-Spanish, half- 


Indian 1 population of the State of Santo Domingo (now officially styled 
the Dominican Republic), are a good-looking race, with Castilian manners; as 

1 It is believed that pure-blooded Amerindians lingered in the unexplored and densely wooded parts 
of Haiti down to within the memory of persons now living. In hybrid types a few are said to exist at 
the present day on portions of Domingan territory, and it is evident that they are perpetuated in a mixed 
form in the Domingan population, some members of which resemble very much the " Indios" of Eastern 
Cuba, and are evidently of mixed Spanish or Amerindian blood. But a naked Amerindian woman was 
seen in the mountains of Haiti about twenty-five years ago by Monsieur Espinasse, who, I believe, picked 
up the clay water-pot that the woman had left behind in her flight. A number of them, moreover, seem to 
have mingled their blood with that of the French pirates and colonists and the negro slaves of these last in 
the latter part of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries. 



a rule, extremely honest and very hospitable, moral (at any rate as regards their 
relations with foreigners), and intelligent. Their chief drawbacks hitherto have 
been a certain sleepy idleness and a passionate love of gambling, the vehicle of 
this being cock-fighting (as in Cuba, and, to a much slighter extent, in Haiti). 
They are as quiet and reserved as the Haitians are noisy and expansive. 
When they go to war — politically or as a matter of private vendetta — they 
mean business. Nevertheless without American support San Domingo a few 
years ago ran the risk of being eventually absorbed by Haiti through sheer 
weight of numbers. 

Until quite recently it is probable that Haiti had developed a good deal 

SKI ^..4*K**.l£> 


more culture and civilisation in her towns than was the case with San Domingo. 
The Haitians were far more prolific than their neighbours, and probably much 
harder workers. It is not necessary to compare the one people with the other 
to the disadvantage of either ; it is sufficient to state that, although on the 
map the island looks as though it should be unquestionably one political entity 
(just as is the case with the Iberian Peninsula), in reality no two American peoples 
are more unlike and naturally separated than the Haitians and the Domingans; 
and the union of the two divisions of the island under one executive is as 
improbable as the union of Portugal and Spain. 

It is scarcely correct to write of "French-speaking" negroes in referring 
to the Haitians. As far as I can ascertain, out of the nearly 3,000,000 
negroes who may be described as Haitians, only about 200,000 (a generous 
estimate) are able to talk and to understand the French language. The 
remainder, who are more especially of the peasant class, speak what is 
described as " Creole French," but which is an entirely new language, far 
more different from French than is "pidgin" English from the language 



of the United Kingdom or the United States. It is possible for any English- 
man or American to understand in a very short space of time even the 
corrupt English of the west coast of Africa, to say nothing of the very 
much better negro English of the West Indies or of the greater part of the 
United States. It is true that in some islands and isolated peninsulas of 
Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia, there may be a mixture of English-and 
African spoken among the negro fishermen or peasants, which is quite in- 
comprehensible to an Englishman or an American ; and it is also possible that 
similar jargons may have arisen in parts of the British West Indies of which I 


know nothing. But in a general way there is no linguistic barrier whatever 
between the white and the coloured people in the whole of English-speaking 

In Louisiana, however, in Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, 
Dominica Island, and Trinidad, the Creole French which is spoken by the 
negroes is essentially a language by itself, differing from French in grammar, 
vocabulary, and pronunciation. It is, to my thinking, a barbarous and clumsy 
jargon ; but this opinion would be received with indignation by the English, 
German, French, and Haitian people who speak it as a second language, having 
picked it up from negro servants in their youth. Creole, especially the dialect 
of Haiti, has been so aptly illustrated by Haitian and French authors that I 
need not describe it further here. It still preserves archaic French terms, some 
words of Breton, a certain element of the Indian languages still lingering in 



the island of Hispaniola at the time of the arrival of the French buc- 
caneers, a little Spanish, and more than a little English, together with a 
few words of African origin. Of course, the bulk of the vocabulary is garbled 
and abbreviated French. 

The Dominican Republic, on the other hand, emphatically belongs to the 
Spanish-speaking world, and any European acquainted with Spanish can get 
on without difficulty with the Domingans. On the other hand, to deal easily 
with the Haitian people it is essential to master this entirely new language — 
Creole. Away from the principal towns French is not more useful than 

Large sums of money are appropriated annually in the Haitian budget for 
the maintenance of schools in all the communes of Haiti. This appropriation 


is one of the many cruel tricks played on the Haitian people by its Government. 
In the beautifully printed "Budget General " (which is published annually at 
Port-au-Prince), under the head of the Department of Public Instruction, there 
is a cadre providing for the education of Haiti — primary, secondary, and 
advanced — with a detail and completeness worthy of Switzerland or Germain-. 
Yet much of this organisation exists only on paper, and the funds appropriated 
for this splendid purpose find their way into the pockets of Government officials, 
or possibly never leave the Treasury. There are fairly good schools in Port-au- 
Prince and in the eleven or twelve principal coast towns of Haiti. I doubt if 
there are any rural schools at all, in spite of the fact that 500 are provided for 
in the budget ; or, if they exist, they do so as a means for providing a petty 
sustenance for some totally incompetent person. The plain fact remains that 
something like 2,500,000 out of the 3,000,000 of Haitians cannot read or 
write, and are as ignorant as unreclaimed natives of Africa. 



Haiti is a country of extremes; and you may meet Haitians in Port-au- 
Prince or in one or two other big towns on the coast so highly educated, so 
clever with tongue and pen, so witty and well read, such men of the world, that 
their society makes even Jamaica and Cuba seem provincial and out of the 
movement. Take, for example, such a writer as Fernand Hibbert. His essays 
are worthy of the pen of Anatole France or Pierre Loti, and of course he is 
onlv one amongst a dozen or more contemporary Haitian men of letters. But, 
although much of this culture is derived from local educational institutions, it is 
essentially Parisian. In many parts of Haiti a good and sound education is 
given by the French seminary priests, as to whose general civilising work in 

Haiti it is pleasant as well as just 
to tender a tribute of praise. Science 
in its most modern forms and de- 
velopments has its Haitian abode in 
the Catholic Seminary of St. Marcel 
at Port-au-Prince. 

The Government of Haiti subsi- 
dises a college in France for the 
education of Haitian priests, but as 
far as I can ascertain only four or 
five priests in the whole of Haiti 
are of the Negro race ; the others 
are Frenchmen of France. It also 
gives general scholarships to Haitian 
youths for a final education abroad, 
mainly in France. Unhappily, the 
weak point in all this superior educa- 
tion of the Haitians is its utterly 
unpractical relation to a useful and 
profitable existence in the West 
Indies. How this comes about I 
cannot see. The France of to-day 
shows herself able to educate and 
send to her empire in Africa and 
Asia hosts of young men supplied 
with the most practical instruction 
in modern science and in all such 
learning as may be turned to material 
use in countries wholly different from France herself. But the education which 
she gives to the youth of Haiti is perversely useless in its nature. It is ap- 
parently only adapted to life in Paris or in a French provincial town, and the 
adepts thus trained show a singular tendency on returning to Haiti to cast 
off their European learning. Young doctors, sent to France for education in 
medical science, come back and discard any modern aseptic or antiseptic 
theories in their practice, in fact almost revert to the position of negro 
charlatans. Lawyers can think of nothing but the meticulous intricacies of 
the Code Napoleon, and seem incapable of devising a simple civil and criminal 
jurisprudence applicable to the essentially African race which inhabits Haiti. 
As to other branches of modern science — agriculture, forestry, zoology, botany, 
mineralogy, bacteriology — not a single Haitian interests himself in such 
pursuits. There are the magnificent pine forests of Alpine Haiti being 


The fragrant pine of Florida, the Bahamas, Hispaniola, 
and Cuba. 



recklessly destroyed year after year by ignorant peasants or hasty concession- 
naires. The Government of Haiti, from the President down to the lowest 
"buraliste" in Port-au-Prince, does not care an iota. 

Haiti possesses one of the most magnificent floras in the world and a 
wonderful display of bird-life. Do you suppose any Haitian knows or cares 
anything about the trees, flowers, or fruit, beautiful or useful, of his own country; 


the birds, the fish, the butterflies, the rocks, minerals, rainfall, or wind force? 
Not one. And yet these same men amongst the two hundred thousand 
educated people know a good deal about the landscapes of France, England, 
Germany, and Italy ; can quote with appreciative delight the nature studies of 
Tennyson ; admire the art of Corot and Daubigny ; and have even heard of 
Turner. The amazing beauty of their own country is only apparent to them 
when their attention is called to it by utter strangers ; and then they put 
forward quotations from foreign writers on Haitian scenery as an excuse for 



their political shortcomings or financial defalcations. They know all about the 
nightingale and nothing of the Haitian warblers. In their poetry they refer to 
the eagle and swan (completely absent from their sphere), but never to the 
frigate-bird or flamingo. 

That they have a sense of beauty, from the highest to the lowest — the 
peasant to the president of the Cercle de Port-au-Prince — is evident from the 
choice of sites for their villas or villages, the arrangement of trees and flowering 
shrubs around their habitations, the breeding of peacocks (these beautiful birds 
are abundant in many Haitian towns and hamlets), and the dress and adorn- 
ments of the peasantry. As to the dress of the two hundred thousand educated 
people, though less exotic than it was, it is still, as in Liberia — a worship of the 
tall hat and frock-coat. In the streets of Port-au-Prince, as of Monrovia, in a 
temperature 95 degrees in the shade and something under boiling-point in the 
sun, you may see Haitian statesmen cavorting about in black silk hats of 

portentous height and glossiness, with frock-coats 
down to their knees, and wearing lemon kid 
gloves. The peasantry show originality, taste, 
and a real sense of appropriateness in their cos- 
tume. The educated people in their passionate 
admiration of France do not even dress as do 
the very sensible French colonists of the French 
West Indies or of Africa, but wear what they 
believe to be the last fashion of Paris. 

In fact it is the attachment to France which 
is the great bar to Haitian progress. If the 
Monroe Doctrine did not exist and was not 
supported by eighty-nine million of people in 
the United States, I should say the best thing 
which could happen to Haiti would be a French 
direction of their country on much the same 
lines as the American intervention in the affairs 
of the Dominican Republic. But the United 
States will not permit France, England, or 
Germany to play such a role in Haiti. France, 
in fact, has ceased to be a great American power, however important may be 
her role in the other three-quarters of the globe. 

Haiti must learn English or Spanish if she wishes to advance and to hold 
her own in the American hegemony. In conversation with one of the Haitian 
leaders I suggested that, inasmuch as their young men could get no practical 
education in tropical agriculture in France, they should be sent instead to learn 
that and other essentially useful things at Booker Washington's Tuskegee 
Institute in Alabama. He agreed as to the value of Tuskegee training, but put 
forward the language difficulty as a reason for not sending Haitians to be 
educated in the United States. Yet according to statistics Haitians in the 
Government schools are supposed to be taught English, Spanish, and German, 
in addition to French. (This, of course, is not the fact, except in the 
seminaries of the French priests.) 

And so, while the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico, and all the rest of 
Spanish-speaking America are interchanging ideas and at the same time 
strengthening in a marked manner their commercial relations with the United 
States, Canada, and Jamaica, Haiti remains aloof from all these movements, 

An excellent type of Haitian 



a little black China in the midst of the 
Antilles, regarding all the rest of the world, 
except the far-off France, as uninteresting 
barbarians. Yet with extraordinary incon- 
sistency their historians continue to harp on 
the terrible cruelties inflicted by the French 
on the slave ancestors of the Haitians, 
and on the way in which France for thirty 
years after their declaration of independence 
obliged them to maintain great military 
forces to resist reconquest, and at the same 
time crippled their finances by the imposi- 
tion of an indemnity of £6,000,000, x which 
it took them half a century to pay. 

At least two out of the three millions of 
Haitian negroes are only Christians in the 
loose statistics of geographers. They are 
still African pagans, with a vague recog- 
nition of the Cross as an unexplained but 
potent symbol. They believe in a far-off, 
scarcely heeding Deity and a multitude of J 7 a well-to-do farmer, haiti 
spirits, ancestral and demiurgic. Magic or empirical medicine ("wanga") is, of 


course, believed in ; and ranges in scope from genuine therapeutics to sorcery, 
mesmerism, and poisoning. 

As to " Vuduism," much exaggeration and untruth have been committed to 

1 Reduced by Louis Philippe's Government to £3,500,000. 


m ^' 

paper on this subject, so far as it affects Haiti. Snake-worship is of doubtful 
occurrence, owing to the rarity of snakes in Haiti. Such harmless snakes as do 
exist 1 are tolerated in some villages or fetish temples for their rat-killing 
propensities. The idea has therefore got abroad that they are " kept " as 
sacred animals by the Vudu priests or priestesses. Sacrifices of eggs, rum, 
fowls, possibly goats (white fowls or white goats preferred) are offered to 
ancestors or minor deities presiding over the fertility of crops, rainfall (nature- 
forces, in fact), and various small animals (perhaps even human remains) are 
deemed useful in sorcery. To obtain human bones, and also for the more 
materialistic purpose of robbing the dead of their clothes and ornaments, 

graves are sometimes violated ; but not 
with the loathsome intent to eat the dead 
body. This ghoulish practice still survives 
in the Congo basin, but has never been 
traced to Haiti on trustworthy evidence. 
Isolated instances — about four or five — 
of cannibalism (the killing and eating of 
children) have occurred in the criminal 
records of Haiti during the last twenty 
years, but the convicted were, in nearly 
all cases, punished with death ; the one 
or two not executed had been proved to 
be mad, and were confined in prison or 
asylum. These acts of cannibalism were 
mostly examples of mad religious exalta- 
tion. Haiti "Vuduism" has absorbed 
elements of Freemasonry and Christianity. 
It predicts the future, investigates crime, 
arranges love affairs. Presidents of Haiti 
have consulted the oracles of Vudu priests 
and priestesses as to their coming fate, 
as an occasional British statesman might 
half-laughingly submit his hands to a Bond 
Street palmist. (See note on p. 253.) 
The 2,500,000 Haitian peasants are passionately fond of dancing, will even 
sometimes dance almost or quite naked. And following on this choregraphic 
exercise is much immorality. It is for these dances and not for mystic " Vudu" 
purposes that the drums may be heard tapping, tapping, booming, rattling at 
night. No secret is made, nor is any shame felt about these village dances, in 
which many young people take part. 

In most of the country districts polygamy is openly practised. The rite of 
marriage — civil and religious — is probably confined to about an eighth of the 
total adult population. In fact, in almost all features of their lives, except in 
dress, language, and rudeness of manners, the Haitian peasantry has returned 
to African conditions. But so far as placid acceptance of a bad government is 
concerned, and in their perfect courtesy and absence of truculence towards 


1 Haiti (Hispaniola), like the rest of the Greater Antilles, has no poisonous or dangerous snake. It 
possesses one or two species of Tree Boas {Epicrates) ; a species of Water Boa (Ungalia); colubrine 
snakes of the genera Dromicus and Liophis, Uromacer, and Hypsirhyncus ; the last two peculiar to 
Hispaniola. All are small except the Tree and Water Boas, and they are not at most more than six or 
seven feet long. 



foreigners, the Haitian people may be regarded as civilised. In small things 
they are thievish ; in large concerns law-abiding and honest. 

Four-fifths of the Haitians — the peasantry of the country, that is to say — 
are hard-working, peaceable country people. These four-fifths of three million 
are entirely negro in race, and probably represent a mingling of West African 
types from Senegambia, Dahome, and the Congo. It is a race which exhibits, 
away from the towns, a fine physical development ; its skin colour is much 
darker and the negro type more pronounced than in the United States. Owing 


to causes at present obscure (locally it is attributed to the consumption of bad 
salt codfish) leprosy has obtained a considerable hold over certain districts, 
especially in the plains, and syphilis is still answerable for terrible ravages 
amongst the coast and town population. Still to the tourist, glancing in a 
cursory way, the people of the interior — the peasantry — seem an essentially 
healthy, vigorous negro race. 

The tourist observer is conscious of another fact about them : that they are 
mostly hard-working, the women especially. As the employes of Europeans 
they are disheartening, owing to the irregularity of their work. For a day or so, if 
amused or interested, they will labour like veritable heroes, then the men will 
get drunk or decide on an inopportune spell of rest. Put to piece-work they 



would probably get through more labour than the European in the same period 
of time ; but here, as in Africa, they tend at first to resist regularity of industry. 



They are ready to work when the rest of the world wants to rest. They may 
decide to repose when it is the regular time for exertion. They are noisy, 

slightly quarrelsome amongst themselves, 
and some are inclined to drunkenness. 

The women are the best part of the 
nation. They are splendid, unremitting 
toilers. In the face of all discourage- 
ments with which a bad Government 
clouds their existence the women of 
Haiti remind one of certain patient 
types of ant or termite, who, as fast as 
you destroy their labour of months or 
days, hasten to repair it with unslacken- 
ing energy. The market-women that 
descend from the country farms to the 
Haitian towns know that on their way 
to the market-place, and in that market- 
place, they will be robbed by soldiers 
and officers until the margin of profit on 
the sale of their wares has practically 
disappeared. Yet they continue to toil, 
to raise poultry and cattle, till the fields, 
see to their gardens, make pottery and 
mats. They cannot stop to reason, but 
must go on working from three years old 
to the end of their lives. Such industry 
(which is almost equally supplemented 
by that of the peasant husbands) pro- 
tected should make Haiti one of the richest countries in the world for its size 
and population ; but so long as it is cursed by its present military despotism 


A priestess of the Obia with a tame snake. 
Lagos Hinterland 



the utmost that the women of Haiti can do is to keep their country just above 
the waters of bankruptcy and their households from complete despair. 

The curse of Haiti from the day she established her independence in 1804 
to the present time is this tyrannical and wasteful government of the military 
party. Plus ca change, plus cest la mane chose ! Scarcely a President in the 
history of Haiti has not been a military man, and the favourite leader for the 


time being, of the major portion of the army. It seems impossible for a really 
civilian Government of Haiti to come into existence. The country possesses 
a pedantically perfect Constitution, providing every possible safeguard for 
civil liberty and freedom of elections. Yet President after President calmly 
ignores the precepts of the Constitution, and either governs Haiti despotically 
or allows the country to be misruled and shamefully robbed by a camarilla of 



Ministers. Whenever some intelligent Haitian politician attempted in the past to 
point out acts of unconstitutional government, he was either taken out and shot, 
then and there, 1 by order of the President, or was flung into prison and perhaps 
made to undergo tortures. 

That President Antoine Simon will follow in the bloody footsteps of his 
Presidential predecessors is very improbable. He is a man of obviously kindly 
nature, with a record of twenty-two years' essentially clement government of the 

1 As late as 1908. 

i 9 8 


great southern province of Haiti ; but he is an old man of imperfect education, 
and though he may turn out a complete surprise, yet so far he has done nothing 
to improve the conditions of political elections. The whole power of the country 
is still entirely based on the soldiers. 

The theoretical standing army of Haiti is 30,000 men, of whom perhaps 
there are 10,000 at this moment under the colours. According to the Constitu- 
tion of the country conscription is in force, and every able-bodied man must 
serve for a certain period in the national army. In the case of any country of 
great magnitude pursuing a world policy universal military service is, or is 
going to be, a practical necessity. But countries in the position of Haiti should 
be happily exempt from such a tax on industry. Whom has Haiti to fear as 


regards exterior enemies ? Aggressions from any European Power ? No. The 
United States forbids that, and equally restrains the Dominican Republic from 
any policy of conquest. The United States is the only Power which could 
with any success or justification interfere with the independence of Haiti ; and 
what could 10,000 or 30,000 Haitian troops do against the forces of the United 
States? Consequently, Haiti needs no army for other purposes than the 
maintenance of public order within the limits of the Republic. For this pur- 
pose a well-disciplined, well-armed force of 2000 men would be quite sufficient, 
together with a constabulary of 1000 rural police. Of the irregular army, 1000 
men might be employed as frontier guards to assist the customs officers all 
along the inland frontier between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, 500 
might serve as the President's guard in Port-au-Prince, and the remaining 500 
be stationed in small detatchments in the leading coast towns. The law of 



conscription need not be abolished ; it might be allowed to become a dead 
letter under present circumstances, not to be revived save by the vote of a free 

At the same time that the army is reduced, the President might dismiss 
and pension off the horde of generals, at present the curse of the country 
There are generals who are delegated viceroys for each of the five great 
departments or provinces, which they really rule as despotic satraps. There 


are " generals of arrondissement " and " generaux de place " ; there are generals 
of division and unattached generals ; in fact, though the term " general " is not 
always used in official designation, it has come to be the common address of 
respect to any official of any importance in Haiti. 

It is very rare to meet with any general officer who has any modern 
education. They live away from the capital like semi-independent African 
chiefs, ruling the people with a rod of iron and plundering them mercilessly of 
their hard-earned subsistence. The chief weapon they wield is, " Give me this 
woman for my concubine ; give me this horse to which I have taken a fancy ; 
send me so many bushels of maize, so many bunches of bananas, so many 



fowls, or so many labourers to work on my estate, or I shall force you to serve 
in the army." If the peasant or the village head-man refuses such a request, he 
is arrested by the general's soldiers and leaves his home, perhaps for ever. 

One reason why in Haiti one sees scarcely any other people than women 
coming to the markets is because the men are afraid to leave their hidden 
villages or mountain eyries and come down into the cities or bourgs, in case 
they may be impressed into military service or reimpressed ; for it matters 
nothing if they have served before or completed their full term of service. 

Under the accursed military despotism of Haiti home life is constantly 
broken up ; in fact, it is the old slave-trade again under another form. Once 
the men are snatched from their homes and enrolled in this preposterous army, 
with its Second Empire costumes, its out-of-date artillery, and its assorted rifles 
and mixed ammunition (the soldiers' really effective weapons being the club 


and matchet), with the usual negro insouciance they dry their tears, tend their 
weals and bruises, and resign themselves to a city life of laziness, thieving, 
debauchery, drunkenness, untidy squalor, and impudent begging. Some of 
them become licensed bandits, robbing the stranger as well as the native. 
But, since there are decent folk amongst them (as there are in every collection 
of negroes), some of them try, during the long periods of military inaction, 
to earn a living " by licence " — that is to say, with the permission of their 
commanding officer they hire themselves out as servants, labourers, or mule- 
teers. In such cases quite 50 per cent of their miserable gains have to be paid 
to their officers, from the colonel (possibly) down to the sergeant. 

Any one who has followed my argument can see how this blighting army 
prevents the putting into force of the constitutional Haitian government. If 
you are a Haitian and attempt a pacific revolution by appealing to the reason 
of your fellow-citizens, the Executive of the day arrests you arbitrarily and 
throws you into prison without a trial, using the ignorant army as its force 
and remaining victor so long as the army supports its favourite general as 



President. If another general can win over or arm better a larger proportion 
of the standing army than the man in power, then there is another revolution 
and another military President. But what about the Legislature ? That, under 
the existing circumstances, is the creature of the military Executive. This is 
how elections are at present managed in Haiti. Voters are registered between 
October and December in every year ; but no respectable citizens attempt 
to go and vote, because they know they will be hustled by the soldiery and 
that every form of chicanery and violence will be adopted to prevent their 
recording their suffrage (except for the official candidate). The persons told 
off by the Executive to register voters finally draw up a more or less nonsensical 
list (which, contrary to the law, is never posted up), consisting either of bogus 
names, or else the names of soldiers put forward as voters by officers in the 




•. - -. V v 


confidence of the Executive ; for the fact that soldiers on active service are 
allowed to vote in all political and municipal elections is a flaw of the otherwise 
immaculate Haitian Constitution. 

Once in three years the elections take place for the Chamber of Deputies 
(which itself elects the Senate). Unless you are a candidate on the special list 
of the Executive — that is to say, the nominee of the military President — your 
election is hopeless. First of all, the Election Tribunal is a farce ; if there has 
been sufficient support of public opinion to elect on to that tribunal indepen- 
dent persons not the creatures of the Executive, the said Executive persuades 
or bribes two or three of its agents on the Election Tribunal to resign on some 
pretext or another. It then quashes the whole constitution of the tribunal, 
nominates instead a committee of citizens to superintend the elections, and 
naturally takes care to appoint its own partisans or employes in that capacity. 

The soldiers next come forward and vote for the names written down for 
them by their officers ; and these names, of course, are those of the Govern- 



ment candidates. Even supposing that, in spite of violence or chicane, some 
independent electors have been registered and do put in votes for non-Govern- 
ment candidates, this matters little ; for the Government-appointed Judge of 
the Election Tribunal calmly ignores such votes and declares the Government 
candidate elected unanimously. 

And, as I say, any loud or sustained protest against this despotic military 
rule (and, unhappily, the military element in Haiti is usually of an uneducated 
negro type) is met by peines fortes et dures, or at any rate by severe ostracism 
from anything that is going in the way of Government employment. 

Will it be so under the rule of Antoine Simon ? Will the truth be allowed 
to reach his ears ? Will he be allowed by his camarilla to read anything that is 
written on the subject? He has a magnificent opportunity. He is President 
for six years. He is the head of the army and a military officer of long and 
distinguished service. He could do what no civilian in Haiti could accomplish. 

He could reduce the army to two thousand 
men and make it no longer an instrument of 
tyranny. He could restore that freedom of the 
Press which has not existed in Haiti for over 
fifty years. 

Under the free discussion of a freed Legisla- 
ture and an independent Press other reforms 
could then be carried out which would right 
what is wrong in the finances and institute 
public works for the development of Haiti, a 
country of remarkable resources, perfect climate, 
and inherently hard-working population. 

But a few more years of wastefulness and 
fraud in the collection and administration of 
public revenues, which has been characteristic 
of the Haitian Executive since 1870, will make 
the country bankrupt, rich as it is, or provoke 
the emigration of the peasantry in large numbers 
to Cuba and San Domingo. 

The present External Debt of Haiti, consisting 
of the 1875 and 1896 loans, amounted at the end of 1908 to a total of 
$11,996,355, or £2,499,240. Of this £752,000 bears interest at 5 per cent, and 
£1,747,240 bears interest at 6 per cent. There is said to have been no 
amortisation of the bonds of this foreign loan since 1903. Sums for this 
purpose are attributed annually in each budget, but apparently do not reach 
the French Bank of Haiti. 

The Internal Debt of this Republic amounts to about .$13,030,184, or, 
approximately, £2,714,622. This is the least valuation which can be assigned 
to it. It is probably much larger, and in its origin is mainly traceable to unpaid 
salaries and other emoluments due to Haitian officials. The employes of the 
Government, except those that really form part of the Executive or the officers 
of the army who have to be kept faithful to the Executive, are usually paid in 
"obligations" (bonds), which the Haitian Government is never able to cash. 
These Treasury bonds (so to speak) were once intended to bear an interest of 
12 per cent until the Government could redeem them. The Haitian official to 
whom these pieces of paper were given, being obliged to maintain himself and 
his family, took them to foreign bankers and merchants, who bought them for 




cash at a great reduction from their face value. Thus a good deal of this 
Internal Haitian Debt (divided mainly into "pink" and "blue" bonds and 
" consolidated ") came into the hands of foreigners, who expected to receive the 
12 per cent per annum interest promised by the Haitian Government. After a 
time the Haitian Executive, finding that these bonds had been purchased at 
possibly only 25 per cent, or 40 per cent, or 50 per cent of their face value, 
decided to reduce the annual interest to an amount ranging from 3 per cent to 
6 per cent. This act excited a great deal of clamour, but the dispute was 
eventually settled on the above terms of interest. 

In addition to the indebtedness already tabled, the Alexian Administration 


issued paper money to the face value of £1, 978, 176 (§9,495,248), and circulated 
nickel coins of little intrinsic worth to the nominal value of £1,561,5 10 
($7,495,248). Consequently the national debt of Haiti amounts in all to 
£8,753,548, of which £5,213,862 is interest-bearing and secured, and £3,539,686 
is worthless paper money and nickel coin unsecured. 

The natural result of all these measures was the immense rise in the rate of 
local exchange, so that Haitian money and products became very cheap and 
foreign money and foreign products very dear. Trade and intercourse were 
hampered by a thousand expensive tracasseries, greatly to the profit of jacks-in- 
office, and much to the hindrance of honest trade and profitable intercourse. 
None of this national debt of 8f millions sterling is represented by any public 
works. Quite four million pounds of it is nothing but plunder taken by 
Presidents and Ministers. 

The revenue of Haiti is raised partly on a burdensome tariff of high import 
duties, but mainly on the export duties levied on coffee, cacao, dyewoods, 



timber, hides, fibre, copper, and other minerals. What keeps the country 
going practically is coffee derived from the plantations originally planted 
by the French colonists. If all the coffee that left the Haitian ports for 
France and the United States paid export duty according to the tariff, 
the Haitian revenue would be much higher than it is ; but at nearly 
every port there is a private scheme in force by which the exporting mer- 
chants largely understate the weight of the coffee they are sending out of 
the country, and share the profits of this swindle with the local and Executive 
officials of the day. 


Here are the graves of political martyrs killed summarily without 
trial during 1908 by orders of President Nord Alexis because they 
criticised his administration 

In addition to the rescue of Haiti from the throttling grasp of the military 
party, it will be necessary to institute absolute honesty and thrift in the conduct 
of public affairs. Officials — from the highest to the lowest — must be paid 
adequate — let us say even handsome — salaries, scaled according to responsi- 
bility and efficiency ; but in return the country must exact from them ruthlessly 
an honest administration of public moneys. 

But what use is it talking of the "country" doing this or willing that when 
no more than 200,000 out of 3,000,000 Haitians have the slightest approach to 
education ? The masses in Haiti only realise that they are plundered at every 
turn by the authorities, and are just beginning to ask themselves whether they 
would not be better off as free settlers in Cuba, Jamaica, or the Dominican 



This eastern division of Hispaniola has grown strong enough to keep the 
Haitians at bay, and has found settled peace, prosperity, and the certainty of a 
bright future by wisely placing itself under the wing of the United States. 
Such, no doubt, is the predestined fate of Haiti : to accept United States advice 
in the management of its home concerns (retaining its governing powers to 
the full) and to leave its foreign affairs entirely to the State Department at 




THE English first entered into the African slave-trade through the 
adventures and contracts of Sir John Hawkins (1562-7). Previous to 
his visits to Senegambia and the Gold Coast for cargoes of slaves, British 
ships had from about 1553 (if not earlier) found their way to the west coast of 
Africa to trade in pepper, spices, perfumes, ivory, and gold. 

mm ■ 



"W~ -' 

' '«<Ki ?*-<J^*— B»3Mcatt^iB 


First a Portuguese and then a British deput (founded in 1626) and shipping-place 

for the slave trade 

It is suggested by one or two historians 1 that although Queen Elizabeth lent 
two ships to Sir John Hawkins and invested money in his enterprise, she 
believed in so doing she was merely engaging in the procuring of such products 
as those already mentioned ; and that when she realised Hawkins was applying 
his or her ships to the kidnapping of negroes and their transportation to 
the Canary Islands and the West Indies, she censured him and withdrew her 

But no great development followed Hawkins' attempts. He became a 

1 Especially Thomas Clarkson, in his History of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade, etc., Vol. I. 



pirate himself towards the Spaniards in the New World, and after his death in 
1 595 (near Porto Rico) the Spanish West Indies were closed against British 
ships, while the Portuguese on the west coast of Africa, both before and after 
the union of their country with Spain, were very hostile to any infringement of 
their monopoly and impartially attacked the Dutch, French, and English ships 
which sailed along the West African coast or ascended some of the rivers. 

It was not, therefore, until the middle of the seventeenth century, when 
Portugal was once more independent and seeking alliances against Spain, that 
the English were able to set up in a permanent fashion slave-trading establish- 



A good many of this type found their way to America as " Koromanti " slaves because they were shipped from the British 
and Dutch coast stations of Coromantyn or Koromanti near Cape Coast 

ments on the Gambia River (1618, 1664) and on the Gold Coast (1618, 1626, 
and 1668). Before that, they generally bought the slaves they required from 
the Dutch ; or exported them from Morocco. 

The Sharifian Empire in that country had felled the Portuguese dominion 
of Al Gharb by the Battle of Kasr-al-Kebir (1578), and soon afterwards 
(1590-5) had conquered Timbuktu, Jenne, Gao, and the Upper Niger, thus 
affording a great impetus to the overland slave-trade between Nigeria and 

The English began to establish a trade with Morocco in 1577, owing to the 
embassy sent in that year by the canny Elizabeth, who saw her way to building 
up a Mediterranean trade for England by allying herself in friendship with the 


Moors and Turks. In 1588 a patented or chartered company — the Company of 
Barbary Merchants — was founded and included on its " Board " the Earls of 
Warwick and Leicester. From that time to the middle of the eighteenth 
century the British had almost the monopoly of Morocco trade, and exported 
numbers of slaves thence to British and Spanish America. 

The BERMUDAS, or Somers Islands, were definitely settled by the English 
from 161 2. They were possibly the second portion of British America (Virginia 
coming first in 161 9) on which negro slaves were landed j 1 and the Bermudas 
were the focus from which radiated much of the early English colonisation 
of the Bahamas, St. Kitts, and Antigua. They are narrow curved islets (rarely 
more than a mile broad) about 580 miles east of the North Carolina Coast, of 
limestone formation, partially covered with coral reefs and sandbanks, with a 
total habitable area of little more than nineteen square miles. At first they 
served more as a depot, both for trade, piracy, and colonisation, than as a 
plantation ground ; though tobacco grows wild there and was industriously 
cultivated by negro slaves (obtained through the Dutch) from about 1660 to 
1707. During the last part of the seventeenth century, throughout the 
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the English colonists of the Bermudas 
and their negro slaves developed into a fine bold race of seamen. They built 
sailing ships of from two to three hundred tons from the timber of the 
Bermuda "cedar" (a red juniper), and in these vessels brought the fish from the 
Newfoundland banks to the coasts of Portugal and the Mediterranean, or 
waited at the islands of Madeira, Ascension, or St. Helena for the returning 
Indiamen, from whom they obtained cargoes of tea, spices, porcelain, silks and 
other wares of the Far East. They carried back port wine to Newfoundland, 
and Madeira wine to New England and the Carolinas ; and distributed all 
along the eastern seaboard of North America the products of the East Indian 
trade. The Navigation Acts 2 which did so much to alienate the loyalty of the 
North American colonies built up a great prosperity for the Bermudas, both for 
the privileges they conferred on ships under the British flag and the profits to 
be obtained by hardy seamen from smuggling in defiance of the regulations in- 
tended to operate only in the selfish interests of Great Britain. 

After the war of the American rebellion the great value of the Bermuda 
archipelago as a naval station in the Western Atlantic became obvious, and 
from about 1783 a fresh development took place in the islands' industries, and 
the value of their twelve thousand acres of exploitable ground became greatly 

1 There were probably negroes here as early as 1620, and by 1630 there were several hundred on the 
"still vexed Bermoothes." 

2 As the Navigation Acts, of which the first was passed in 165 1, have much to do with the slave-trade and 
the development of the West Indies they may be briefly described here : They were laws of the British 
Parliament which restricted the carriage of colonial produce to English or Colonial-owned ships with an 
English captain and a crew at least three-quarters English. And goods destined for the American 
colonies and West India Islands could only be conveyed in ships similarly owned and manned, and loading 
in English ports. Moreover, the greater part of the products grown or manufactured in the American 
colonies or plantations could only be shipped to England. Other closely-related laws fettered and pro- 
hibited Colonial (just as they did Irish) manufactures ; to such an extent as to outdo the illiberal policy of 
Spain towards Spanish America. 

The Navigation Laws, of course, were initiated by Cromwell in order to create a great commercial 
marine for England and to deal a blow at the Dutch, who had become the world's great carriers in slaves 
as in everything else. Supplemented by similar legislature under Charles II they effected their purpose; 
but in the latter half of the eighteenth century cost us our original American colonies and hampered the 
commercial development of the British West Indies. These Navigation Laws were almost abolished by 
Huskisson's legislation in 1S23 and completely disappeared in the sunrise of Free Trade in 1849. 


enhanced. While <>n the one hand it wa i soughl to ameliorate the conditions oi 
slavery, it was not desired (then) to make it easj for a class "l free negroes 
and men oi colour to grow up and seek a position of equality alongside the 

In [789 the Legislature oi Bermuda passed an Acl to make obsi > 1 < - 1 < - a mu< h 
older Act of the- same Legislature, which forbade the forfeiture oi the life and 

estate of any while man who killed a negro " or Other Live." But in [806 an 

Act of the Bermudan Legislature pronounced the rapid increa <■ of the numbei 
oi free negroes and free persons of colour " to be a greal and growing evil," and 

I'.i.Im Hi iM I'. . I I'.AI) IN 'Jill'. IIKHMIINA ISLAND! 

laid down that no slave under forty years oi age should he eni.iiii ip.iled, ex< epl 

on the condition that he lefl the islands w ii Inn three months, ll a slave was more 
than forty years oi age he mighl be emancipated upon the ownei paying £$0 
into the public treasury. No free negro 01 person ol coloui was to be capable 
of acquiring or being seized of any real estate whatever. No house was to be 
leased to any free negro for a longer term than seven years. 

But about 1 828, at the instances "I the British Government, legislation w a 
carried through th<- Bermuda House ol Assembly conferring on free negroi 
and men of colour the same privileges as their whin- fellow citizens; and in 
[834 the status of slavery was abolished. The Bermudan slave owners received 
for some reason only aboul £ \2 compensation foi each ilave: a li amounl 
than was granted anywhere in the Wesl indies. 



This House of Assembly, for which negroes and mulattoes may now elect 
members and in which, if elected, they themselves may sit, dates almost from 
1620: certainly from 1684, in which year the Bermudas became a colony 
directly governed by the Crown. The Government consists now of an Execu- 
tive Council on which there may be two unofficial, nominated members ; 
a Legislative Council with six unofficial nominated members ; and the 
House of Assembly with thirty-six members, all elected 'by the people of Bermuda 
on a franchise granted to all resident males having freehold property not less 
than £60 in value, or an equivalent in annual income. The only qualification 
necessary to a member of the House of Assembly (besides British nationality) 
is the possession of freehold property of a minimum value of £240. There are 
about 1320 electors out of a population of 19,000 ; x and there are no political 
disabilities whatever connected with race or colour. Out of these 19,000 about 
12,500 are negro or coloured and 6500 are white. 

The remarkable shipping business of the Bermudas has died down since the 
abolition of the Navigation Laws and the short spell of profitable blockade- 
running during the American Civil War. But for the last forty years the Ber- 
mudans — black and white — have made an increasingly profitable pursuit out of 
market-gardening and horticulture for their special trade with the United States. 

Connected in original history with the Bermudas are the TURKS 2 and CAICOS 
Islands (about thirty in number, but only eight inhabited), lying some seven 
hundred miles to the south-south-west of the Bermuda group. They are 
scarcely the south-easternmost prolongation of the great Bahama bank (as is 
often stated), for between them and Inagua arid Mariguana (easternmost of the 
Bahamas) lies a narrow but very deep strait of water, equally separating them 
from Hispaniola. In addition, they have never had any political affinity with 
the settlers of the northern and most inhabited Bahamas, and at the close of the 
eighteenth and beginning- of the nineteenth centuries the two or three thousand 
whites, mulattoes, and negroes of the Turks and Caicos were constantly in con- 
flict with the tyrannical and odious white man's House of Assembly at Nassau. 
In 1848 their petition to be severed from the Government of the Bahamas (to 
which they had been attached in 1799) was granted, and since that date they 
have been an almost separate colony under the general direction of Jamaica. 

The total land-area of this group is 166 square miles, and the present 
population is 6000, mainly negroid. There are few pure-blooded negroes in this 
colony, and barely 100 whites who are free from a negroid strain. The ancestors 
of the white "Turks" and Caicans migrated from Bermuda during the seventeenth 
century, bringing their negroes with them but not allowing these slaves to marry 
and settle down. For a long period they only visited the Turks and Caicos 
" cays " to conduct the annual " salt-raking." 3 The Spaniards expelled them in 

1 This total refers to residents and does not include the garrison of five or six thousand soldiers and 

2 The name is derived from the stumpy, turban-like "Turk's head" cacti which grow on these wind- 
swept islands. The largest of the islands — Grand Caicos — is twenty miles long by six broad. Grand 
Turk is seven miles by two. 

3 Salt-raking, to which one sees so many references in studying the history of the West Indies, is an 
industry limited mainly to the Southern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and some of the outer islands and 
islets of the Lesser Antilles. Advantage is taken of the low flat lands practically at sea-level, perhaps 
cut off from the sea by dunes or beaches. Canals are dug and these natural reservoirs are flooded with sea- 
water. When sufficient has been admitted, the canal mouth is closed by wooden gates and the shallow 
sea-water left to evaporate. When the water has been turned into salt by the action of the fierce sun, the salt 
is raked into heaps and left to bleach. Salt thus made is particularly good for fish and meat curing. 


17 10, but some returned and others joined them. Colonisation was reinforced 
by "loyalist" white settlers from Georgia in 1784-5 who brought negro slaves 
with them. Many slaves also were obtained from the ships wrecked on these 
coral islets on their way to Jamaica or Cuba. 

Latterly there was no strict slavery on this group, owing to the lack of a 
regular government and to the partial fusion of the races. Moreover, many of 
the negro slaves escaped into the bush and for a time relapsed into savagery. A 
handsome, muscular, sturdy seafaring race 1 is growing up here, which with some 
continued further isolation may develop a very interesting local type of Caucaso- 
negroid not unlike in aspect to some of the Southern Mediterranean peoples. 

They are governed by a Commissioner, aided by a Legislative Board, the 
four unofficial members of which are nominated by the Governor of Jamaica. 
Laws passed in Jamaica may by special announcement be made to apply to the 
Turks and Caicos. 

Salt-raking is still the principal industry, and salt to the extent of about 
;£i 5,000 is exported annually. Sponges also are obtained and cured locally 
and exported to the value of several thousand pounds annually. Grand Turk 
— the most inhabited island .of these two little archipelagos — derives some 
importance from being a landing-place and station of the British Direct West 
India Cable Company. 

Education down to the close of the 'eighties was lamentably backward, 
but is now well attended to by the local government. The seven elementary 
schools are unsectarian, free, and have about 580 children on the roll. There is 
an admirable public library at Grand Turk. 

The first negroes to reach BARBADOS' 2 arrived in 1626 in the same ship 
with the first party of English settlers. The English and their ship had 
proceeded from London, but they made use of their "letters of marque" on 
the way to capture a Portuguese ship near the Bermudas, and out of her they 
obtained a few negro labourers. 

The British Barbadians next proceeded to the Dutch colonies in Guiana, and 
thence recruited Amerindians under solemn covenant with the Dutch Governor to 
return them after two or three years of indentured work ; but they shamefully 
broke their contract and enslaved the Indians, most of whom eventually died, 
while a few succeeded in escaping. More negroes therefore were brought from 
some quarter, possibly supplied by the Dutch. By 1636 a regulation was 
passed by the Governor's Council in Barbados to the effect that all negroes or 
Indians landed there must be considered as slaves, bound to work on Barbados 
for the rest of their lives. By 1645 there were no less than 6400 negroes in 
Barbados, brought from Guinea and also from Bonny (Niger delta), presumably 
by the Dutch. 

In 1647 Yellow Fever made its first appearance at Bridgetown in Barbados, 
and in 1692 there was a bad epidemic. Apparently the first outbreaks of yellow 
fever spread to Barbados from Porto Rico, 3 but later on in the eighteenth 

1 "Calm, sober, and contented," writes of them their former Commissioner, Dr. G. S. Hirst. But 
the same authority points out the still serious mortality in these naturally healthy islands from Tubercu- 
losis. This disease is encouraged by the horror of fresh air in the houses of the poorer people. 

- " Seven or eight " — Captain John Smith's Travels, etc., London, 1630. Barbados had been pros- 
pected by the English in 1605. 

3 Yellow fever was not heard of in America until the slave-trade was in full swing. Apparently it 
was first observed in Porto Rico at the close of the sixteenth century, in the French island of Guade- 
loupe in 1635-40, at St. Kitts in 1648, and Port Royal, Jamaica, in 1655. Its first appearance in the 

21 2 


century the disease broke out afresh when slaves were transported direct from 
West Africa to Barbados in British ships. Yellow fever was the first scourge 
which was evolved by the slave-trade as a punishment to the white man for 
coercing his black brother into forced labour and expatriation. 

In 1674 the number of slaves in the island is said to have exceeded one 
hundred thousand, and a large proportion were Koromantis from the Gold 
Coast — a class of negro much in demand for working capacity, but foremost in 
all the slave revolts and movements towards freedom which were so common in 

Founded early in 1629. Also a I'arbados policeman of 1909 

Barbados during the last quarter of the seventeenth and throughout the 
eighteenth century. 

In 1667 an Act was passed for "the better ordering and governing of 
negroes." It commences, " Whereas the plantations and estates of this Island 

United States was at Charleston in 1693. We now know that it is carried from the blood of one human 
being to that of another by a mosquito of the genus Stegomyia (S. catopus). 

It would seem to have been an African disease in origin, since negroes and even negroids are 
practically immune, while Amerindians and Europeans are particularly susceptible. But it is not known 
to exist in Africa except on the coast region of Senegal, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and very occasionally 
in Liberia and the Gold Coast. In these parts it occurs sporadically, and of course must be carried from 
one human being to another by Stegomyia mosquitoes, which exist in West Africa as well as in tropical 
America. According to H. W. Bates ( The Naturalist on the Amazons), yellow fever did not reach the 
Amazon Valley and Northern Brazil till the middle of the nineteenth century. 

At the time of my visit to Barbados in February, 1909, yellow fever had broken out in the western 
towns. It is time this disease was altogether suppressed in the island by the scientific destruction of the 
Stegomyia mosquitoes. As regards malarial fever, it is almost non-existent here, mainly because the 
shallow streams and ponds swarm with a tiny fish (Girardinus), which devours the Anopheles mosquito's 
larvae. See note on p. 16. 


cannot be fully managed and brought into use without the labour and service 
of great numbers of negroes and other slaves. . . . M1 The negroes are de- 
scribed as " barbarous, wild, and savage natures . . . wholly unqualified by 
the laws, customs, and practices of our nations " ; and the Act speaks of the 
disorders, rapines, and inhumanities to which they are naturally prone and 
inclined, and trusts that from these " this Island through the blessing of God 
may be preserved and the lives and fortunes of the King's subjects secured, 
besides at the same time providing properly for the negroes, and other slaves, 
and guarding them from cruelties and insolences." No negroes or other slaves 
are to leave on Sabbath days, holy days, or any other time, to go out to their 
plantations, except such as are domestic servants and wear a livery, or unless 
they carry a ticket under the master's or mistress's hand, or some other person 
by his or her appointment. They are forbidden to carry clubs, wooden swords, 
or other mischievous or dangerous weapons, or to use or keep drums, horns, 
or other loud instruments ; or to give sign or notice to one another of their 
" wicked designs or purposes." Any negro or slave 
offering any violence to a Christian by striking or 
the like is to be severely whipped by the constable, 
and for his second offence of that nature, not only 
to be severely whipped and burnt in some part of 
his face with a hot iron, but to have his nose slit : 
unless, of course, such striking of a Christian be in 
the lawful defence of a master or mistress, or of 
their goods. The Act refers to the many heinous 
and grievous crimes such as murders, burglaries, 
highway robbery, rape, and incendiarism committed 
" many times by negroes and other slaves," as well 
as their " stealing, killing, or maiming horses, mares, 
gelding-cattle, or sheep." The owner of any slave 
executed judicially for his crimes is to be com- 
pensated by the State for the loss of the slave, 190. a kanjaga negro, from 
" which value shall never exceed the sum of £25 GOLD COAST hinterland 
sterling." 2 No person "of the Hebrew nation" A " KanmK ^^° in slavery 
was allowed to keep or employ more than one 

negro or other slave. The Act also provided for the chase of the runaway 
negroes who had taken to the woods and other fastnesses of this island, fifty 
shillings sterling being given as the reward for every negro taken alive or dead. 
"If any negro or other slave under punishment by his master or at his order 
unfortunately shall suffer in life or liberty, which seldom happens," no person 
whatsoever shall be liable to any fine therefrom. But if any man shall of 
wantonness, or only of bloody-mindedness, or cruel intention, wilfully kill a 
negro or other slave of his own, he shall pay into the public treasury ^15 
sterling ; but if he shall so kill another man's, he shall pay the owner of the 
negro double the value, and into the public treasury, ,£25 sterling; and he 
shall further, by the next justice of the peace, be bound over to good behaviour 
during the pleasure of the Governor and Council, and not be liable to any 

1 All through the second half of the seventeenth century there were of course many English, Irish, 
and Welsh indentured apprentices (practically slaves) and political prisoners who were sold as slaves by 
the British Government and were worse treated than were the negroes. 

2 In the eighteenth century the value gradually rose to £bo and ^100 here and elsewhere in the 
West Indies. 


other punishment or forfeiture for the same ; neither is he that kills another 
man's negro or other slave by accident liable to any other penalty but the 
owner's action at law. " But if any poor small freeholder or other person kill 
a negro or other slave by night, out of the road or common path, and stealing, 
or attempting to steal his provision, or other goods, he shall not be account- 
able for it." 

In 1668 an Act was passed declaring the negro slaves of Barbados to be 
real estate. In 1676 an Act forbade "people called Quakers" from bringing 
negroes to their meeting. " Whereas of late many negroes have been suffered 
to remain at the meeting of Quakers as hearers of their doctrine and have 
been taught in their principles, whereby the safety of this island may be much 
hazarded, various penalties shall ensue if such proceedings continue." 1 Amongst 
these, was six months' imprisonment and a fine of ten thousand pounds ot 


Muscovado sugar to be inflicted on any person not an inhabitant and resident 
of this island who shall hereafter publicly discourse or preach at the meeting 
of the Quakers. 

With the law of 1708 all negroes employed in selling milk, meat, or fire- 
wood on account of their masters shall have at all such times that he, she, or they 
are selling the same, a metalled collar locked about his, her, or their neck or 
necks, leg or legs, with the name of the master or mistress engraved thereon, 
and the name of the parish wherein they live. Slaves, or any white person on 
their behalf, who removed the " hooks, and rings, or collars round the negroes' 
necks and legs," without leave of their master, mistress, or overseer, were to be 
punished ; the white persons by being fined " the sum of £10 current money 
to Her Majesty (Queen Anne), her heirs and successors, and the negro or 
negress by receiving forty lashes on his or her bare back by order of any one 
of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace." 

In 1688 the laws of Barbados obliged slave-owners to provide their slaves 

1 In 1709 Barbados had got so accustomed to the Quakers, that they brought in an Act to allow them, 
to give evidence by affirmation instead of on oath. 


with clothes once a year — drawers and caps for the men, and petticoats and 
caps for the women, regulations ignored by the planters, whose male slaves 
frequently went quite naked. 1 

Immediately after the accession of Charles II an Act had been passed in 
Barbados, commencing : " Whereas divers opinionated and self-conceited 
persons have declared an absolute dislike to the government of the Church 
of England, as well as by their aversion and utter neglect or refusal of the 
prayers, sermons, and administration of the sacraments and other rites and 
ordinances thereof used in their several parish churches, as by holding con- 
venticles in private houses and other places, scandalising ministers, and 
endeavouring to seduce others to their erroneous opinions upon pretence of 
an alteration of Church government in England," etc. This Act went on to 
impel all persons to give due obedience to the government of the Church of 



England, and another Act passed in the same year (1660) ordained that all 
masters and overseers of families shall have prayers openly said or read every 
morning and evening " with his family," upon penalty of forty pounds of 
sugar, the one half to the informer, the other half to the public treasury of this 
island ; that all masters of families should regularly attend their parish church 
"with their families." "If a servant make default of repairing to the church 
according to the true intent of this Act, and if the fault be in his master, then 
his master is to pay ten pounds of cotton for every such default ; if the 
neglect be in the servant, he is to be punished at the discretion of the next 
justice of the peace. Servants and children are to be instructed in the 
fundamentals of the Christian religion. "'The churchwardens of every parish 
are to be provided with a strong pair of stocks, to be placed near the church or 
chapel, and the constables, churchwardens, and sidesmen shall in some time of 

1 The negro fishermen of north-east Barbados at the present day are frequently quite nude when 
engaged in fishing. 



divine service every Sunday walk and search taverns, alehouses, victualling 
houses, or other houses where they suspect lewd or debauched company to 
frequent, and if they shall find any drunk, swearing, gaming, or otherwise 
misdemeaning themselves, that forthwith they apprehend such persons and 
bring them to the stocks, there to be by them imprisoned for the space of four 
hours, unless every such offender pay five shillings to the churchwardens of 
the said parish for the use of the poor. If a master or free man swears or 
curses, and thereby blasphemes the name of God, he is to forfeit for every 
such offence four pounds of sugar ; if a servant, two pounds of sugar. If the 
servant have no wherewithal, he is to be put into the stocks." 

These pietistic laws and regulations were almost a dead letter as soon as 


published. From after the middle of the seventeenth century until the close 
of the eighteenth century the treatment of the Barbados negroes and mulattoes 
was increasingly brutal, their British and even Spanish Jew 1 owners seeming 
to be obsessed by a lust of cruelty such as later in history arose in Surinam 
and in the Southern States of the American Union, an expensive gratification 
of wild beast instincts, since after all the slave was valuable property, and it 
was waste of good money to maim or kill him. 

But the evidence collected for the House of Commons through the exer- 
tions of Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce, and others (as well as retro- 
spective research) gave the circumstances of Barbadian slavery a place in 
infamy fully equal to the worst records of St. Domingue, South Carolina, and 

1 A number of Spanish and Portuguese Jews settled in this island and in Jamaica between 1660 and 
1700. By local petty tyranny they were only allowed to keep one slave each, and were not enfranchised 
until 1831. 


Georgia. Here are two examples culled from many attested episodes of 
horror : — 

Captain Cook and Major Fitch, passing in the night a plantation-house in 
Barbados, heard the shrieks of 
a woman in agony ; they broke 
open the door and saw an un- 
fortunate negress chained to the 
floor while her white master was 
flogging her within an inch of 
her life. The two officers pro- 
tested against his inhumanity. 
The white monster cried out 
that he was well within the law : 
he had only given her " thirty- 
nine lashes" 1 at any one time; 
this punishment had been re- 
peated already three times that 

night and he would 




another thirty-nine before morn- If 

ing, would in fact (and probably 

did) flog her to death in spite 

of what any one might do, if he 

pleased ; and he would certainly 

prosecute the two officers for 

breaking open his door. (I have 

summarised this quotation from 

William Wilberforce's speech in 

the House of Commons on April 

1 8th, 1 791.) 

In supporting Wilberforce's 

motion on this same occasion 

Mr. William Smith quoted the 

following from the evidence of General Tottenham: "In the year 1780 in 

the streets of Bridgetown, Barbados, I saw a youth about nineteen, entirely 

naked, with an iron collar about his neck, having 
five long projecting spikes. His body both before 
and behind was covered with wounds. His belly 
and thighs were almost cut to pieces with running 
ulcers all over them ; and a finger might have been 
laid in some of their weals. He could not sit down 
because his hinder part was mortified ; and it was 
impossible for him to lie down on account of the 
prongs of his collar." On inquiries it was found that 
this wretched boy had been nearly whipped to death 
by a savage master and then abandoned to starve. 
No one in Bridgetown took any notice of the incident 
and the master went unpunished. 

For a hundred years slaves in Barbados were 
mutilated, tortured, gibbeted alive and left to starve 
to death, burnt alive, flung into coppers of boiling 


Going to market 

1 The legal limit. 



A woman worker in the fields, Barbados 

slaves escaped from the 

sugar, whipped to death, overworked, under-fed, obliged from sheer lack of 

any clothing to expose their nudity to the jeers of the "poor" whites. It is 

little to be wondered at therefore that there 
were frequent slave revolts and projected 
(alas! — one feels inclined to exclaim — seldom 
accomplished) massacres of the whites. 

The first of these risings took place in 
1649, but was abortive, for as usual one 
tender-hearted negro could not bear to think 
of his white master (a judge) being murdered, 
so revealed the plot in time for measures of 
repression to be taken. In 1674 the warlike 
Koromanti slaves plotted to rise and over- 
whelm the white people, intending to murder 
the men and espouse the white women. 
But the scheme was discovered by a negress 
house-servant, and the leading conspirators 
were arrested, tried, burnt alive, or beheaded. 
In 1692 another organised revolt was dis- 
covered and averted, and the same thing 
occurred in 1702. In the latter half of the 

seventeenth century many badly-treated Barbados 

island in boats and canoes and took refuge with 

Caribs or the French in the Windward Islands. 

During the eighteenth century, however, Barbados 

was the rendezvous of such large naval and military 

forces engaged in the frequent wars with France and 

Spain that the Barbadian slaves seem to have given 

up as hopeless any notion of a rising against the white 

man. Moreover, the negro being heart and soul a 

warrior, often fought alongside his English or Scottish 

master to repel the French, attack the Spaniards or 

the Dutch, and pursue wild bands of Irish rebels who 

attacked some of the West India Islands after the 

Treaty of Limerick set them free to rove the world 

and defend the cause of the exiled Stuarts. Then too, 

in between episodes of Barbadian glory (for both White 

and Black Barbadians were splendid fighters x ) there 

1 So many Barbadians have served from first to last in the "West 
India Regiments" (there is now one West India Regiment divided into 
two battalions, one in Jamaica and the other at Sierra Leone), that it 
may be appropriate to give a short account of these famous negro troops 
here, though they have been withdrawn from Barbados since 1906. 

The 1st West India Regiment started with the enrolment of white 
Loyalists and negro slaves at Savannah, after its capture by British troops 
in 1779. The body of fighting-men then brought together under the British 
colours was called the South Carolina Regiment. (To-day the West India 
regimental march is, " South Carolina is a Sultry Clime," with the refrain, 
" O ! so early in the morning," etc.) 

On the conclusion of the war, the regiment was moved to Jamaica in 1782, and then consisted partly 
of white, partly of black men. 

The whites became Jamaican planters ; the negro soldiers could not at that stage of Jamaica history, 
so they were drafted off to the Leeward and Windward Islands, and employed again as soldiers. In 
1795 tne remainder of them, together with other negro recruits and white officers, were amalgamated 



were intervals of blockade and famine when 
many of the negroes died of starvation. And 
thousands perished in the recurrent hurricanes 


with various militia corps (such as " Malcolm's " or " the 
Royal Rangers"), and became the first of the twelve "regi- 
ments raised to serve in the West Indies." 

These regiments were registered in the Army List of 1798 
as "West India Regiments." 

The second of these (afterwards the ' ' 2nd West India 
Regiment") grew in 1795 out °f a local militia corps called 
the St. Vincent Rangers. All the twelve regiments took part 
with the navy in the capture of the French, Dutch, and Danish 
possessions in America. After the Napoleonic wars were over, 
the West India regiments (one or more of which had been 
qualified as " Royal," so that their direct descendant of to-day 
has royal emblems in its insignia) were reduced and reorgan- 
ised. After the abolition of slavery in the 'thirties, they became 
more especially a body of negro troops, only the officers of which 
were white, and included many Barbadians in their midst. In 
the middle of the nineteenth century, the one or other of the 
two regiments (now two battalions of the West India Regi- 
ment) were stationed at Freetown, Sierra Leone, and from 1850 
onwards they fought many battles for the British Government 
on the Gambia River, in the interior of Sierra Leone, and in 
Ashanti. At the present clay the 1st Battalion is stationed in 
Jamaica and the 2nd Battalion in Sierra Leone. The total 
strength of the two battalions is 1 175. 

Their present uniform, so picturesque, yet business-like, 
and so attractive to recruits, was practically the inven- 
tion of Queen Victoria (I am informed by Colonel A. R. 
Loscombe). It was introduced in 1858. The Queen had been 
much struck with the uniform of the French Zouaves, and 
suggested to the War Office that her West India regi- 
ments might have a uniform like them. But I have ascer- 
tained from the Director of Military Operations that the 

first proposal to relieve the West India 
Regiment of its inappropriate and uncom- 
fortable British uniform in favour of a more 
African dress came from Major Ord in 
1856. His proposal was approved and 
signed by the Queen, but as his suggested 
style of uniform was not adopted it is per- 
missible to suppose that the Queen may 
have then put forward the idea of a Zouave 

% The late Colonel A. B. Ellis (well known 
for his ethnographical studies of West 
Africa), and more recently Colonel A. R. 
Loscombe and Mr. A. E. Aspinall, have 
written on the history and qualifications of 
these remarkable negro soldiers, who could, 
if we wished, play a considerable part in 
maintaining the British position in tropical 
America, if it were ever menaced. 

For the employment of negro soldiers 
(mainly West Indians) by the French in 
Europe during the Napoleonic wars, see a 
very interesting article in Questions Diplo- 
matiques et Coloniales for October 16th, 
1909. From hints given here and there, 
it is evident that France looks upon Senegal 
and Southern Algeria (where the oases con- 
tain a more than half negro population) as 
valuable recruiting grounds, and intends 
thence to reinforce her home army should 
she again be invaded by a foreign enemy. 

199. "a stake in the country" 

Most of the Barbadian negroes at the present day own 
their small holdings 



which pious people ascribed to the wrath of the Almighty at the iniquities 
perpetrated by the slave-holding whites (though they seem to have overlooked 
the fact that His punishment fell mainly on the poor wronged negro). 

One way and another, the Barbadian negroes diminished in numbers during 
the eighteenth century from the (no doubt exaggerated) estimate of 100,000 

200. "busy Barbados": going to market with poultry 

at the end of the seventeenth century to the approximate 65,000 of 1800. The 
excess of deaths over births was a constant feature, and the deficit had to be sup- 
plied from Africa annually to the extent of an average five hundred per annum 
out of the approximate thirty-eight thousand annually exported from Africa in 
British ships. In 1764 there were 70,706 negro slaves in Barbados; in 1780, 
68,270; in 1786, about 62,115 ; at tne en< ^ °f tne century about 65,00c 1 

1 But it must also be borne in mind that Barbados exported hundreds, even several thousand negroes to 
the British Windward Islands and to Trinidad between 1797 and 1800. 


The abolition of the slave-trade in 1808 effected a slight amelioration 
in the condition of the Barbadian slaves, since owners now began to care 
more for the physical and moral welfare of their negroes. At the same time it 
checked a process of manumission which had been going on for a long time, 
prompted by conscience, kindliness, or shirking of responsibility. Before the 
commencement of the nineteenth century it had become a frequent practice 
on the part of owners to turn adrift or grant freedom to slaves who were sick, 
aged, or mutilated, and these starving people were becoming an inconvenient 
burden on the rates. To check this, and also the increase of the politically- 
inconvenient class of free blacks and mulattoes, the House of Assembly passed 
a law (similar to those in force in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and most other 
West India islands) obliging every person manumitting a slave to pay £300 
into the Treasury for a female and £200 for a male, so that the freed woman 
might receive .£18 and the 
freed man £12 a year for 
their maintenance. 

Emancipation was in the 
air. The abolition of the 
slave-trade was obviously 
only preliminary to the 
abolition of slavery. The 
Barbados blacks became 
impatient. Though better 
treated they were harder 
worked than ever. A free 
mulatto, Washington Frank- 
lin, in 181 5 went about 
among the slaves quoting 
the speeches denouncing 
slavery which were being 
delivered in England, and 
pointing to the success 
which had attended the 

Negro rebellion in Haiti. On April 14th, 1816, the slaves rose in the parish of 
St. Philip in South-Eastern Barbados and commenced burning cane-fields, wind- 
mills, houses, and stores. They did not apparently kill many (? or any) of the 
white settlers, who were mostly " quittes pour la peur." The militia and soldiery 
promptly dealt with the rising, which was subdued in two or three days with 
only one soldier killed on the British side, but with great loss of life to the 
negroes. A number of prisoners were hanged on the estates they had ravaged, 
and a hundred and twenty -three were deported as convicts to British 

But this slave revolt shook up the callous Barbadian Government. The 
slave laws of the colony were consolidated and ameliorated in 18 17. In 1823 
an association was formed, with the Governor at its head, for the purpose 
of giving instruction in religion to the slaves. In 1831, however, a step was 
taken of a far-reaching importance almost greater and more beneficial at that 
period than the actual emancipation of the slaves [which followed in 1834-40] ; 
and this was the carrying through the House of Assembly by Mr. Robert 
Haynes a bill repealing' the political disabilities of free negroes or men of colour. 
From 1832 all free male negroes or mulattoes have had the same electoral and 



One of the oldest parliament houses in the world 


civic privileges as white men; in fact, "colour" distinctions in politics among 
free people ceased from that date to exist in Barbados, and when slaves and 
slave-like apprentices all became free men by 1840, Barbados assumed — and 
has retained — the distinction of being a portion of the British Empire with 
a Constitutional Government based on popular representation which ignores 
differences of race-origin or skin-colour in its citizens. 

The House of Assembly consists of twenty-four members elected on a 


popular suffrage, which is higher than that of the Bahamas and lower than 
in Guiana. 1 

The elections take place annually, and the present number of registered 
voters is not quite two thousand. There is, besides the Executive Council and 
the Legislative Council of nine members (a Senate nominated by the Crown), 

1 For voters the qualifications are : to be male subjects of the British Crown over twenty-one years, 
and possessed of an estate or rents from an estate of an annual value of at least £5, or the occupier of a 
house, etc., parochially assessed at £15 per annum, or to have paid town-taxes at Bridgetown of £2 per 
annum, or country-town-taxes of £1, or in receipt of a salary or pension of not less than ^"50 (unless he 
is a " domestic or other menial servant." Why? This seems petty !), or who is in receipt of a clear in- 
come of ^15 a year from "real estate," or is a bona-fide lodger in a ^50-a-year house in which he him- 
self pays ^15 a year rent, or who is a barrister, solicitor, physician or surgeon or holds a British or 
Codrington College degree. To some of these qualifications there is a condition of six months' previous 
residence attached. 

The qualifications for members are to be a male British subject of over twenty-one ; who owns thirty 
acres of land with a house on it worth ^300, or a totality of estate valued at ^1500, or to be in receipt 
for life of ^"120 a year from lands, etc., or to have a clear annual income from any source of ^"200. 


an Executive Committee which really carries on the government of the island 
and initiates legislation, leaving to the popular Assembly the voting of 
supplies and of the laws, which last must be approved by the Legislative 
Council and be subject to a veto from the Crown. The British Govern- 
ment appoints the principal public officers (except the Treasurer, who is an 
official selected by the House of Assembly). The Executive Committee 
is composed of the Governor, his Executive Council, one member of the 
Legislative Council, and four members of the House of Assembly nomi- 
nated by the Governor. On this Executive Committee there is at present 




one negro, and there are seven coloured men or negroes in the House of 

Education in Barbados is not compulsory, but about 75 per cent of the 
negroes and coloured people born since i860 are able to read and write. The 
educational system of the island is under a Board appointed by the Governor. 
The Bishop of Barbados presides over this Board of Education at the present- 
time, and the district control of the primary schools is vested in the Church of 
England clergyman of the parish. 

At present there are 166 primary schools with a roll of 25,178 scholars 
(15,300 in average attendance), costing the Barbadian Government £11,000 per 
annum. Another £7000 to £8000 is spent by the same Government on higher- 



grade education at Harrison College, 1 Bridgetown ; at The Lodge ; and (for girls) 
at Queen's College. There are also two fine second-grade schools for boys and 
one for girls. The colony provides four scholarships annually (through the 
Education Board), each of the handsome value of ,£175 annually for four years. 
These are tenable at an English University, or at an Agricultural or Technical 
College in America — a broad-minded provision. The Government of Barbados 
also places four Island scholarships of £40 a year each at the disposal of 
Codrington College, to be reserved for natives of the Island. 

Codrington College was founded in 17 12, on the bequest of Colonel Chris- 
topher Codrington, who died in 17 10. He had bequeathed to the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel 763 acres of land, with buildings, mills, 100 

cattle and 315 slaves. The 
Society was to keep up the sugar 
plantations with 300 slaves, but 
was to found a college wherein 
" physic, chirurgery and divinity" 
were to be taught. Of course 
during the eighteenth century 
instruction was only given to 
white students, and at first 
theology (of a very barren type) 
was the only thing taught ; but 
later on law and medicine were 
added. Candidates were pre- 
pared here for holy orders. 

The College was at first much 
hampered by debt (in spite of 
the generous contributions of its 
founder's son, William Codring- 
ton). The income derived from 
the sugar estate was about £2000, 
but the cost of the buildings 
saddled the Trust with debt. 2 
Even after it was in full activity 
(1748 and onwards), mismanage- 
ment and continual disasters from 
hurricanes abated its usefulness. 

204. "BREEZY BARBAD S" „ L1 „ .1 I „ r „„U-,1~-r. 

By 181 3 the number 01 scholars 
had fallen to twelve ; but in this year a minister was obtained to give oral 
instruction to negroes (as much as might be imparted under the slavery laws). 
Improvements were effected in 1825, and in 1830 the institution was solemnly 
opened as a college, well equipped with hall, library, chapel, etc. The very 
next year nearly everything was blown to the ground by a hurricane ! Once 

1 Harrison's Grammar School or College was founded in 1733 by Thomas Harrison, a merchant 
of Bridgetown, for the education of twent>-four indigent (white) boys of the parish. They were to be 
taught reading, writing, arithmetic, Latin and Greek, without fee or charge. Outside these twenty-four, 
paying scholars might be received also into the school. After 1840, more or less, coloured or negro boys 
were also admitted and now form the preponderating element. The teaching in this school has been 
reported as excellent by several visitors, and it must be so from the number of its students, white and 
coloured, who have distinguished themselves at Oxford and Cambridge. 

2 By the latter part of the nineteenth century the sugar estate had become so depreciated in value 
that an appeal for funds became necessary. Subscriptions raised in England by the West India Com- 
mittee saved the College from closing its doors. 


more a financial effort was made — verily the White Man does not acknowledge 
defeat in the West Indies (Talk about languor! Where else does he stand up 
so bravely to the Devil of Reactionary Nature?) — and the limestone walls of 
the College rose anew. Its present appearance has been compared to New 
Buildings of Magdalen College, Oxford. 

From about 1840, negro or coloured students began to appear among the 
alumni ; now they form the large majority of the students at what is the oldest 
university in the West Indies. Since 1875 Codrington College has been 
affiliated with Durham University ; but on visiting Durham a year or two back 
it struck me that the graduates of 
Codrington [though they appreciated 
the distinction of being associated 
with the most picturesque cathedral 
town in England] found neither the 
teaching of its sleepy University nor 
its northern climate attuned to the 
requirements of West Indians or the 
West Indies. 

The bulk of the modern Barba- 
dians (over 156,000) belong to the 
Church of England. There are some 
15,000 Wesleyans, 7000 Moravians, 
and 816 Roman Catholics. Very 
little superstition remains among the 
coloured people ; but occasionally 
there are proceedings in the police- 
courts against Obia men and women 
for malicious poisoning of animals or 
plants. Sexual morality is perhaps 
better than in the other West India 
islands. Serious crime is very rare 
(among the natives) ; out of a negro 
and coloured population of about 
180,000 there is a daily average of 
only 217 in prison. 315 negro con- 
stables and white officers suffice 
to maintain order. I found these 
Barbados policemen as civil, obliging, spruce, and intelligent as their comrades 
of Jamaica — which is high praise ; for the Jamaica constabulary is only to be 
matched by the police of the United Kingdom. 

About 74,000 acres of Barbados — a little less than two-thirds of its area — 
are under cultivation ; 35,000 in sugar-cane, and nearly 20,000 in cotton. The 
greater part of these sugar and cotton plantations belong to white men, resident 
and absentee, and the coloured inhabitants do not own much of the soil of the 
island. As a rule they work for fair wages on the white planters' land. 

The coloured Barbadians seem to the passing tourist to be a most indus- 
trious people, both men and women. 1 They make rather picturesque pottery 
out of porous clay ; quarry stone ; fish ; breed poultry, pigs, goats, and other 
live-stock ; cultivate kitchen-gardens ; ride as jockeys at the races ; fill all the 

1 Here is a brief pen-picture of Barbados taken direct from my note-book (February, 1 909) : — 

Busy Barbados ! Every one is civil — excellent policemen — the bright, clean, picturesque city of 



The person despoiled of his hat by Barbadian zephyrs is 
Mr. A. Greaves, the author's photographic and general 
assistant throughout his American journeys 



trades and most of the professions (for there are no Indian or Chinese com- 
petitors here), and occupy most of the minor posts in the Administration. 
Special attention should (I think) be called to their taste and skill in orna- 
mental work, made out of brightly coloured sea-shells, fish-scales, feathers, 



wood, dried plants, which is sold to eager tourists in the form of artificial sprays 
of flowers for dress embroidery or table decoration ; doyleys, necklaces, filigree 

Bridgetown — its slightly pompous, late-Georgian House of Assembly and substantial Government build- 
ings of whitish stone. 

The port — blue-green water, white schooners, with chains painted red like necklaces of coral. 

The curiosity shops . . . ornaments from fish-scales . . . stuffed toads and strange fish . . . the 
comfortable, cheap public carriages, with their well-dressed, well-spoken coachmen. 

The country roads — blazing white . . . busy Barbados ! women going to market with turkeys, fowls, 
bananas ; men and women working in the fields . . . the teams of many mules dragging plantation carts. 
The windmills . . . fields of cotton coming sparsely into flower with large red-and-lemon-yeilow blossoms ; 
the emerald-green sugar-cane and its plumes of purple-grey. The "great house,'' in style something like a 
Ramsgate verandahed villa of 1830 ; buried in trees. The factories with their chimneys and windmills. The 
stumpy, wind-blown fan palms. Eastern-looking goats and African sheep. The bold, wkite-tyeA, glossy- 
black "starlings," the bird of Barbados {Quiscalus forliroslris). Pigs everywhere, but not dirty or lean. 


brooches, etc. etc. I know it is the fashion to laugh at such arts at present as 
not to be dissociated from the 'forties and 'fifties of the last century ; but 
personally I think this modern work in 
Barbados is often beautiful, and instances a 
remarkable taste in colour and design which 
possesses an originality of its own. I shall 
not live to see it, nor will most of my middle- 
aged readers ; but I am sure that the Negro 
Race some day, or its hybrid with the 
White man, is going to astonish the world 
in the arts of Design and Music. 

Since the abolition of slavery the general 
progress of Barbados towards established 
prosperity and well-being has been steady, 
except for the unpreventable ravages of 
occasional hurricanes. The total negro 
and negroid population in 1834 was about 
100,000 (in that year there were 83,176 
slaves who were emancipated at an average 
compensation of ,£20 14s. each). This 
with some fluctuations has risen since to 
about 180,000 at the present day, in spite 207. h. e. president arthur Barclay, 
of the considerable migrations from the OF UBEIUA 

• i„.-j i„ „ t i r A • A native of Barba los, but derived two generations 

island to other parts of America — some- back from popr,, Dahome 

times 18,000 persons in a year. Barbados 

is to the seas of Central America what Malta is to the Mediterranean, a hive 





of industrious people swarming out from their tiny island home (Barbados is 
about the size 1 of the Isle of Wight, and Malta half that area) to colonise, 
trade, teach, preach, serve the British Government, work in all careers, and 
labour with their hands and heads. A poor mulatto boy of Barbadian birth — 
Reeves — rose to be Sir Conrad Reeves and Chief Justice of Barbados, winning 
in that capacity the universal regard of black, white, and coloured. A negro 
boy born in Barbados in 1854 migrated to Liberia in 1865, entered the public 
service of the State in 1878, and ascended through many different grades of 
office till he became the President of this negro republic in 1904, showing 
himself through six recent years of difficult and critical work to be a states- 
man, a diplomatist, and a highly educated man of the world. 

The present commercial value of Barbados is approximately £2,14.0,000 
per annum, of which £1,200,000 represents imports and £pj.o,ooo exports 
In the palmiest days of Slavery in the eighteenth century the exports were 
valued at scarcely more than £600,000 and the imports at £430,000. So that 
under freedom and free labour the population and commerce of Barbados have 
more than doubled. 

The British Leeward Islands — now associated in one Federal 
Government of five presidencies and including a total area of 714 square miles 
— have only shared the same unity of administration since 1832. At present 
they consist of the Virgin group, Anguilla, Barbuda, St. Christopher (called for 
short St. Kitts), Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, and Dominica. St. Christopher 
vies with Barbados in being the oldest British West India colony, having been 
first settled by Englishmen in 1623. 2 All the other islands mentioned except 
Dominica were included in the " Leeward Charaibee " Government (the centre 
of which was Nevis Island, near St. Christopher) in 1672, during the reign 
of Charles II. Antigua afterwards became the seat of government, and from 
i8i6to 1832 St. Christopher and the adjacent islands and Virgin group became a 
separate government. Lovely, reluctant, Frenchified Dominica did not till 
1756-63 become a British possession, nor was it grouped with the Leeward 
Islands till 1832. 

Into all these islands (except Dominica) negro slaves had been introduced 
during the middle of the seventeenth century, experiments of a treacherous 
nature having first been made with Amerindians. To St. Christopher, Antigua, 
and Montserrat a good deal of white convict labour was directed between 1650 
and 1700. Many Irish rebels were sent here (or came after the battle of 
Limerick expressly to annoy), and it is stated by all who have visited 
Montserrat that the negro population of that island speaks English with a 
strong Irish brogue and in a very interesting dialect (preserving old English and 
some Irish words), derived from the several thousand Irish settlers or convicts 
inhabiting Montserrat two hundred years ago. 

As early as 166 1 exception was taken to the doctrines of the Quakers as 
likely to inspire both white and black slaves with discontent and a struggle for 
freedom. In that year Quakers were forbidden access to the island of Nevis, 
and in 1677 an y master of a vessel bringing a Quaker to Nevis was to be heavily 
fined. Quakers were similarly driven away from Antigua and the Bermudas. 

1 Its area is 166 square miles. 

2 The first colonising expedition in that year was fitted out by Mr. Ralph Merrifield, of London, and 
led by Sir Thomas Warner," and the first English name given to the island was " Merwar's Hope," from 
the first syllables of the two founders' names. 



There was considerable forced and free white colonisation, even though the 
valuable Quakers were kept out, but negro labour proved to be the only way of 
cultivating sugar in the Leeward Islands, and by the close of the eighteenth 
century there were some forty thousand negro slaves in St. Kitts alone. It 
was here that the Rev. James Ramsay lived for nineteen years as chaplain 
and studied the condition of the slaves. After his return to England, and 
when vicar of Teston in Kent, he wrote the celebrated book An Essay on the 
Treatment ana 7 Conversion of the African Slaves in the British Sugar Colonies, 
which was of such use to Clarkson and other reformers. He was also one of 



the witnesses whose evidence was laid before the House of Commons in the 
debates of 1 791 . 

The round, mountain island of Nevis lying close to the attenuated extremity 
of St. Kitts was during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries a favourite 
health resort in the summer time for the white planters of the West Indies, and 
all the year round a great slave-mart and rendezvous of the slave-trading ships. 

The treatment of slaves in the Northern Leeward Islands (Dominica was not 
associated with the Leeward Islands until 1832) was somewhat better than in 
Jamaica or Barbados, British West India. 

Antigua was the first of the Leeward Islands to amend the position of the 
negro slaves in the eye of the law by passing an Act (about 1787) which gave 
accused negroes trial by jury for all serious offences, and allowed in the case of 

2 3° 


capital convictions four days between the time of sentence and execution. The 
Government of Antigua also permitted, even encouraged the Moravian 
Brothers to establish missions amongst the negroes in Antigua from 1760 
onwards. By 1787 the Moravian Brethren had converted to real practising 
Christianity 5465 slaves and free negroes in Antigua, So in St. Christopher, 
100 in Barbados and Jamaica, 10,000 in the Danish Antilles, and 400 in Dutch 
( iuiana. 

The Northern Leeward Islands further modified their legislation in favour of 
their slaves in 1798. Under the Act of this year, the weekly food allowance 
for every adult slave was to be nine pounds of corn or beans [or eight pints of 

peas, or wheat, or rye flour, or Indian 
corn meal, or nine pounds of oatmeal, 
or seven pounds of rice, or eight pints 
of cassava flour, or eight pounds of 
biscuit, or twenty pounds of yams or 
potatoes, etc., or thirty pounds of plan- 
tains] and a pound and a quarter of 
herrings (or various other salted fish), 
or three pounds of fresh fish, or other 
fresh provisions of good quality. In 
case of being unable to supply provisions 
in kind, the owner of the slave was to 
pay commutation at the rate of four 
shillings a week to every slave, and 
allow two half-holidays in each week 
for the slave to go to market and lay 
out to the best advantage such com- 
mutation money. But these allowances 
in money or provisions might be re- 
duced in proportion to the amount of 
garden land allotted to the slaves for 
raising their own food crops. In any 
case, each capable negro slave was to 
receive an allowance of forty square 
feet of garden land. Every slave in 
the Leeward Islands was to receive 
twice a year, if a male, one jacket 
made of good sound woollen cloth and 
one pair of woollen trousers of good 
sound Osnaburg linen ; and if a female, one wrapper of such woollen cloth 
and one petticoat of such Osnaburg ; but if he so willed, the owner might 
give the slave, instead of goods, a sufficient blanket and a hat or cap (with 
the consent of the slaves), the same to be in lieu of such clothes as afore- 
said. Every slave within the Leeward Islands employed in field or planta- 
tion work was to have at least one complete half- hour for eating his 
breakfast, resting and refreshing himself, and two hours at " noon or dinner- 
time." After the publication of this Act, owners of slaves were to endeavour 
to induce or oblige their slaves to practise monogamy, and women bearing 
children to their chosen husbands were to be rewarded by four dollars for the 
first child and one dollar for each succeeding child, and to every male and 
female slave who lived together faithfully and peaceably as man and wife was to 



be paid a dollar a year as long as they so lived together. As in Jamaica (after 
1798) and most of the other islands of the British West Indies, a female slave 
who had six children living, born in regular cohabitation, was to be relieved of 
all but light work. Any owner of slaves or overseer, or other white man who 
should attempt to induce any female slave to be unfaithful to her husband was 
to be fined i^ioo. No slave was to be prevented by his or her master from 
receiving religious instruction, or attending church or chapel on Sunday at any 
place of worship held by the regularly established clergy, or any Christian sect 
tolerated in the Leeward Islands. Nevertheless, very strong opposition was 
shown to the creation or increase of a class of free negroes who might ask for 
civic rights. In 1802 a law was passed for the Northern Leeward Islands 
requiring the owner who wished to register the manumission of his slave to pay 


into the public treasury the sum of ^500 (in the case of a slave not native to 
the Leeward Islands, ^1000). Any one who willed the freedom of his slaves 
after his death must provide from out of his estate ^500 in current money, to 
be paid into the public treasury for each manumitted slave. [The Legislature of 
each island might, however, if it saw fit, forego these conditions.] In 1828 the 
free negroes and men of colour were admitted to the same civic and political 
rights as the whites in all the Northern Leeward Islands, and Antigua liberated 
all its slaves in the autumn of 1833 without waiting for compensation or 
asking for apprenticeship. 

After the slaves were emancipated they were in time possessed of sufficient 
property or employment 1 to qualify in some cases as voters for the elected 
members of the different Legislatures of Antigua, St. Kitts, and Dominica. 
But between 1877 and 1898 the elective principle was done away with (through 
the influence of the white colonists and largely to avoid the problem -of the 

1 The qualification for electors was a freehold valued at ,£10 per annum, and for meml ers of the 
House of Assembly, forty acres of land or a house worth £a,0 a year. 


coloured voter) ; and now all the members of the five separate island Councils l 
are nominated by the Governor, and the non-official councillors themselves 
co-opt representatives on the central Legislature for the entire colony. 

The island of DOMINICA is one of the most remarkable in the long chain of 
the Lesser Antilles. It is extremely mountainous, though the highest point 
of its mountains (Grand Diablotin) is barely 5000 feet in altitude. Active 
volcanic agencies are still observable throughout the island ; there are numerous 
hot sulphur springs, and there is a boiling lake. The total area of the island is 
about 304 square miles, 2 but of this, even at the present day, barely a third 
is under cultivation. The rainfall appears to be of an average 118 inches per 
annum, varying from 182 inches on the eastern side to a bare 50 inches on the 
western shore. The innumerable streams which descend from the rugged 
mountains in beautiful cascades are remarkably well supplied with edible fresh- 
water fish and with crayfish. Land-crabs, apparently of three kinds, swarm in 

Specially common, and sought after as a delicious article of food, in Dominica 

the mountain forests and on the coast-lands, and in former times iguana lizards 
were very abundant. 3 There appear to be no venomous snakes in Dominica 

1 (1) The Virgin Islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Sombrero, etc. ; (2) St. Christopher (St. 
Kitts), Nevis, and Anguilla ; (3) Antigua, Redonda, and Barbuda; (4) Montserrat ; (5) Dominica. 

2 It has until recently been understated at 291. The total acreage is 192,140 acres (The Honble. 
Douglas Young). 

3 The land-crabs of Dominica are classed by the natives in three sorts, the white, the black, the red. 
[These are two varieties of Geca.rcinns lateralis, and Psendothelphusa deiitata.~\ The White land-crabs are 
regarded as poisonous because they feed — or have fed quite recently — on the blossoms and leaves of the 
Manchineal \Hipfomane mancinella). This is a tree growing in the marshy districts along the coasts ot 
the West India Islands and of Central America. Its leaves, bark, and blossoms are extremely poisonous. 
The tree grows sometimes to as much as forty leet in height. The water below it is rendered poisonous 
by its decaying leaves. The flowers are a sickly yellow colour, something like those of poppies, but 
rather larger, and the poison is derived from the milky juice or sap of the branches, leaves, and flowers. 
All other creatures but these land-crabs seem to find the Manchineal a deadly poison But the bark of 
this tree is fibrous and makes excellent rope, and the trunk and branches are very similar to cork wood, as 
light, durable, and useful for floats and buoys. 

The Black crabs are said to be excellent and quite safe for food, if taken from places far away from the 
Manchineal trees. They are very fat when in season (this is during the winter months when they are in 
their burrows and moulting their shells), and the females are full of a rich, glutinous spawn which is de- 
scribed as "perfectly delicious." The Red crabs are much smaller, but are also wholesome and delicious 
to eat, especially when full of spawn. A pepper-pot is made by the negroes of Dominica with the flesh of 
the black crabs as its basis, mixed with a kind of cabbage and capsicum pods, and eaten with rice or a 
pudding made of maize flour. 

Another negro dainty throughout the Leeward and Windward West India Islands is, or used to be, 


— a curious contrast to Martinique and the Windward Islands farther to the 
south. The tropical vegetation is magnificent. 

Dominica was originally so strongly occupied by Carib Amerindians [who 
had concentrated their forces here when they were forced to leave St. Christo- 
pher, Guadeloupe, and Martinique] that both France and England hesitated to 
colonise it. At length the French at the close of the seventeenth century won 
over the Caribs to allow a certain number of French settlers to establish them- 
selves on the island. In the early eighteenth century the French planters intro- 
duced several thousand negro slaves. The British followed the French, but 
both nations repeatedly agreed to consider the island as neutral ; until it was 
captured by a British force in 1759 and annexed at the Peace of 1763. During 
the long " neutral " period Dominica had become thoroughly Francicised. The 
negroes at the date of British annexation may have amounted to 10,000. 

Showing various degrees of intermixture between Carib, Frenchman, and Negro 

Thev had conceived a great liking for their French masters and were not at all 
pleased at coming under British taskmasters. The French naturally were out- 
raged at finding a British island separating Guadeloupe from Martinique. 

They consequently recaptured it in 1778. Nevertheless a good many 
English colonists remained on their plantations, depending on the guarantees of 
the Treaty of Capitulation made between Governor Stuart and the Marquis de 
Bouille ; but neither the spirit nor letter of this treaty was fairly observed by 
the new French Governor, Duchilleau, who, not satisfied with making the posi- 
tion of the English generally intolerable, armed many of the slaves, and still 
more the maroon negroes of the mountains, who attacked and destroyed some 
of the British plantations and killed a few of the planters. Although the 

the Iguana lizards {Iguana tuberculata and /. delicalissima). The uneatable Iguana of Jamaica, Cuba, 
and the Bahamas is Cyclura carinata ; and that of Hispaniola is Metopoceros corfiuius (G. A. Boulenger). 
Europeans as well as negroes find the flesh of the large, handsome lizards of the Iguana genus (which 
are also found in Central and South America) extremely good. Its taste is a blend of turtle and chicken. 
The eggs of the Iguana are considered great dainties by the Dominican negroes, who also eat large bull- 
frogs and the grubs of the big boring beetles. 

2 34 


English regained possession of Dominica in 1783, this ferment amongst the 
negro population continued. The latter, though many of their ancestors had 
deserted from Martinique owing to the oppressive regulations in force there, 
were exceedingly French in sympathies, and belonged as well to the Roman 
Catholic Church. They combined under a leader named Farcel in 1791 and 

1794, murdered a number of English planters, 
and gave cause for much anxiety to the British 
authorities in Dominica, who had great difficulty 
in subduing the insurrection. Curiously enough, 
by so acting the Dominican negroes were the 
principal cause of the arrest in England of the 
Anti-Slavery and Anti-Slave-Trade movement. 
The news of this negro war in Dominica (to- 
gether with the anxiety caused by foreign affairs) 
brought the Anti-Slave-Trade proceedings in 
the House of Commons to a temporary close, 
andj delayed for something like fourteen years 
any drastic reforms in this direction. 

In the eighteenth century and down to 1898, 
the white settlers of Dominica (and later on all 
persons possessing the requisite qualifications) 
enjoyed representative institutions, and in 1863 
these were consolidated into a single Chamber 
combining the Council and House of Repre- 
sentatives, nine of the twenty-eight members of 
this Chamber being nominated by the Governor 
and nineteen elected by the people. In 1865 
it was attempted by the British Government 
to abolish the electoral franchise and to make 
Dominica a Crown Colony. But this attempt 
roused such bitter opposition on the part of 
the populace that it was abandoned in favour 
of a reduction of members of the Legisla- 
tive Chamber and the bare provision for 
a Government majority. This was further 
altered in 1871, when Dominica and the other 
Leeward Islands were more closely united 
in a single Federal Colony. The seat of 
Government was transferred to the far more 
English Antigua, and eventually a Commis- 
sioner (instead of a Governor) was placed at 
the head of the Dominican Administration. 
The island Legislature still persisted, but many of the affairs of Dominica 
were now dealt with by the Federal Executive and Legislative Councils for 
all the Leeward Islands. These last were modified by the Act of 1899, 
which did away with the directly elected element in the composition of 
the Federal legislative body, substituting eight members elected by the non- 
official nominated members of the Councils of Antigua, St. Kitts, and Dominica. 
As regards the partly elective Legislating Assembly of Dominica, this in 
1898 was abolished and a Crown Colony system substituted, in which the 
six non-official members (two or three of them negroes or negroids at the 


Showing mixture of French, Carib, and 
Negro blood 


present time) were nominated by the Governor and not elected by the people, 
who have now no franchise in legislation. There is representative administra- 
tion of municipal affairs at the capital, Roseau (the Town Board) ; all the 
elective members are coloured. When employed in positions of trust they do 
not prove more dishonest than their white fellow-citizens. 

The present acting assistant to the Attorney-General is a full-blooded 
negro (a native of Barbados). A dark-coloured man (a Dominican) was 
Registrar and Provost Marshal from 1886 to 1891, and also acted as Chief 
Justice of the island in 1873, and as Solicitor-General and Attorney-General of 
the Leeward Islands on several 
occasions from 1881 to 1886. 

There is no doubt that the 
deep impression made by the 
French on the character and 
manners of the Dominican ne- 
groes in the first half of the 
eighteenth century led to their 
being, until quite recently, very 
discontented British subjects. The 
island was a second time invaded 
by the French under Victor 
in 1795, and fresh en- 
was then given to 
the maroon negroes to continue 
their attacks on the British resi- 
dents. Another serious French 
invasion occurred in 1805. The 
capital, Roseau, was burnt by 
negroes and French soldiers, and 
the latter were only persuaded to 
leave the island by the payment 
of a large sum of money. By 
1 8 1 3, however, after indescribable 
difficulties in a country where 
transport, even at the present 
day, can only be effected on the 
shoulders of men or the backs 





of sure-footed mules, the strength of the maroon negroes was overcome. This 
struggle between the British and the runaway negroes of Dominica had lasted 
for iorty years, and had completely exhausted the resources of the island and 
arrested its commercial development. 

In 1844 a rebellion known as "La guerre negre" broke out as the result of 
an attempt on the part of the British Administration to take a census. The 
real cause was the irritation of the negroes, many of them recently emancipated 
from slavery, at the attempt to reserve for the Government a strip of land 
about a hundred feet in width all round the shore of the island. The negroes 
thought that they were to be driven inland away from the sea-coast, and then 
to be once more enslaved by law. In 1847 there were again riots, this time 
caused by the quarrels between the British settlers, who were mainly Protes- 
tants, and the French Creole planters and French and Irish Roman Catholic 
priests, together with the mass of the negro population, who were all Roman 



Catholics. It is observable, in fact, down to the very close of the nineteenth 
century, that the Roman Catholic Church in Dominica was steadily anti- 
British in sentiment, and seems to have worked up the feeling of the negro 
population of the island in the direction of a possible reunion with France. 
This impression gave great acerbity to the debates in the Legislative 
Assembly, as the Protestants became ultra-Protestant in their desire not to 
weaken the British connection, while the Catholics became passionately 
Catholic and exaggeratedly French. More trouble connected with land occurred 
in 1853, and again in 1863, 1869, 1886, and finally 1893 ; when in a serious riot 
(also due to the attempt of the local Administration to uphold the right of the 
Government to vacant land) four or five negroes were killed by police or blue- 
jackets. Much bitterness also had arisen between the Governor of the Leeward 
Islands and educated people of all parties in Dominica as to the application of 
public funds to. road-making and other public works. It is difficult to say who 
was in the right, because it was really Nature that was in the wrong, terrible 
floods having wrecked much of the road and bridge work. 

The British Government sent out in 1893 a Royal Commission under Sir 
Robert Hamilton to inquire into the cause of these disturbances and the 
friction between the Administration and the people. This Commission produced 
an excellent and instructive report ; and many of its recommendations were 
carried out by the Imperial Government. Since the close of the nineteenth 
century Dominica has been far more contented and peaceable throughout its 
diverse population than in any former period of its long and troubled history. 
It is interesting to note that it still retains an indigenous Carib popula- 
tion numbering about 300, and dwelling in specially allotted land in the 
north-eastern portion of the island. The population of the island at the 
present day (33,000) consists of about 500 whites, 400 Caribs (mixed with 
negro, but also of pure blood), 100 East Indians or Chinese, about 24,000 
negroes, and 8000 negroids, nearly the whole of these speaking a French-Creole 
language (similar to that of Martinique and Haiti) and only a small proportion 
understanding English. 

The " colour question " exists, as in other West Indian colonies, though not 
perhaps to such a marked degree, because of the paucity of whites in Dominica. 
There have been no marriages between black and white during the last twenty- 
seven years, but white men (chiefly Englishmen) have occasionally married 
coloured girls, and a small section of the best born and educated coloured 
people have always moved in good society with the whites. 

The criminal statistics of Dominica are evidence for the good character of 
its people. Sexual crimes, murder, burglaries, or other grave offences against 
property or person are of very rare occurrence. But the marriage rate is low, 
and the proportion of illegitimate births is nearly fifty-nine per cent (1908). 
Illiteracy is very marked, in spite of the fact that there is a compulsory Education 
Act and that the Government maintains elementary schools throughout the 
island which afford free education to all children between the ages of five and 
twelve. It is stated that only ten per cent of the adult negroes can read and 
write. The coloured people send their children to England (mostly) to be 

The principal avocations of the negroes are agriculture (many of them are 
peasant proprietors), mason's work, carpentry, petty trading, shop-keeping, 
school-teaching, and medicine. There are four negro doctors in Dominica, 
one of whom is a Government District Medical Officer. The police force is 


composed entirely of negroes, with white officers. The mulattoes and octoroons 
furnish the island with mechanics, engineers, shop-keepers, clerks, druggists, 
and merchants ; and nearly all the civil service (except the highest posts) 
is recruited from this class. The faith of the people is that of Rome. 

The total population of the Leeward Islands at the present time is 
about 180,000. In some of the islands population is decreasing owing to 
commercial stagnation and the attractions of Porto Rico, Panama, and the 
Danish Antilles ; in some like Dominica, Montserrat, Anguilla, and the Virgin 
Islands it is markedly or slowly increasing. Out of the 180,000 about 5000 
are White (Virgin Islands, Antigua, Dominica, and St. Christopher, mainly) ; 


104,000 are negroes; 25,000 are mulattoes and "near-whites"; and the 
remainder are Caribs, East Indians, Chinese, etc. 

Except in Dominica the predominant form of Christianity is Protestant, 
and the negroes and negroids belong chiefly to the Church of England, the 
Moravian Brethren's Church, and the Wesleyan Church. [The adherents of the 
Baptist Church of Great Britain seem chiefly to be confined to Jamaica.] 
In all the Northern Leeward Islands education is denominational and is carried 
on (assisted by important Government grants) by the Anglicans, Moravians, 
Roman Catholics, and Wesleyans. There are, however, two Government schools 
in Antigua. Except in Antigua and the Virgin Islands, education is free. 
Secondary education is provided by the denominations in St. Kitts and Antigua, 
and is partly supported by Government funds. There are in all throughout the 
Leeward Islands 124 schools with an attendance of 12,222 pupils. Agricultural 
and technical instruction is imparted in the Virgin Islands, Dominica, and 


perhaps elsewhere by the Imperial Agricultural Department, which has its head- 
quarters in Barbados. This work has created or revived an interest in the planting 
of Sea Island cotton among the whites and the coloured people in the Virgin 
Islands, and cotton has almost completely ousted sugar in Montserrat. In 
Tortola (the largest of the Virgins) there is a singular abundance of fibrous plants 
— agaves, tillandsias, bromelias, etc. (relations of the pineapple). Cacao and 
lime-juice (from the small green lime, Citrus medicus) are the chief growths and 
exports of Dominica and Montserrat ; Dominica also sends coffee, nutmegs, spices, 
sugar, vegetable oils, timber, and fruit. Pineapples are exported from Antigua 
and Montserrat ; sugar, molasses, rum, arrowroot, and tobacco from St. Kitts 
and Nevis ; the tiny islet of Sombrero (only added to the British dominions in 
1904) exports valuable phosphate of lime, so also does Barbuda; salt is "raked" 
and exported from Barbuda, St. Kitts, and Anguilla ; cattle and horses are bred 
in Barbuda — the last of the undeveloped, proprietary islands. Anguilla also 
breeds and exports cattle, ponies, and turkeys. There are wild peacocks 
in Antigua and wild fallow-deer (or roebuck ?) in Barbuda. 1 

So that surely the negro and negroid should find enough to occupy them 
profitably in these paradisiacal Leeward Islands, without going elsewhere to 
earn a livelihood ; and the population, instead of decreasing in the Antigua and 
St. Kitts groups, should increase steadily and wax in comfort, wealth, and -<■ 
intelligence? Where does the weakness lie? The five or six thousand whites 
seem to be languid, and the "poor" whites to have inbred too much and 
lost their stamina (so, at least, one is told). But the 175,000 vigorous negroes 
and negroids of the Leeward Islands should become a million in number 
and still have plenty of room and plenty to do. What is lacking in the 
Leeward State? Want of a compulsory and appropriate education, I 

1 The island of Barbuda within the government of the Leeward Islands is peculiar in that it is 
private property, ostensibly belonging to the English family of Codrington, whose rights descend from the 
seventeenth century. Actually, it is administered, not by the British Government, but by two con- 
cessionnaires in whom are vested the rights of the Codringtons. It is rather a large island compared to 
some of its neighbours, having an area of about 140 square miles, with a negro population of 770, and 
a handful of whites. Its surface is low (the highest point being below 200 feet in altitude), but it 
is remarkably fertile and well watered, and a good deal of its area is covered with fine forests. It is, 
indeed, described as being one of the most beautiful islands of the Antilles, but its coiicessioimaires do not 
favour immigration, and only encourage cattle-breeding and the exportation of phosphates of lime. 
A French authority estimates Barbuda could easily sustain 100,000 inhabitants. If this is true, it seems 
irreconcilable with the policy of the twentieth century that the agents of the Codrington family should 
continue to lock up in a condition of uselessness one of the best islands of the Leeward group. They 
ought to be all expropriated at a fair valuation by the Leeward Federal Government, and Barbuda be 
thrown open to general settlement. 




JAMAICA occupies an important place in the past history and' in the 
future prospects of the Negro in the New World. This island of 4207 
square miles, lying nearly in the middle of the Mexico-Caribbean Sea, 
almost equidistant from the north coast of South America and the south 
coast of North America, between Central America and the outer ring of the 
Lesser Antilles, was discovered by Columbus in 1494, and was apparently first 
called by the Spanish " Isla de Sant' Iago," but afterwards by its native name 
of Xaymaca. 1 

The island was then well populated by Arawak Amerindians of the same 
race as those of Cuba, Hispaniola, and the rest of the Antilles, but by degrees 
the indigenes perished at the hands of the Spaniards, or were transported else- 
where, or fled in their canoes to Yucatan. Negroes were introduced into 
Jamaica perhaps as early as 15 17. The Spaniards, beginning at St. Ann's 
Bay, confined their settlements principally to the north coast regions and to 
that splendid tract of park-like country in the very middle of Jamaica, round 
about Moneague. No minerals of value having been found in the island, 
Spanish efforts were chiefly confined to sugar cultivation, while the amazing 
beauty of the island seems to have so impressed them that they colonised it 
partly from that point of view. In those days there was no yellow or malarial 
fever; there were no ticks; live-stock throve amazingly; a hot sun, abundant 
rainfall, and rich soil produced a remarkable abundance of food. 

Jamaica was aimed at once or twice by the bold seamen-pirates of Queen 
Elizabeth's time; but the Spaniards remained masters of the island until 1655, 
when it was captured by an expedition sent out by Cromwell to seize the large 
island of Hispaniola. This expedition was beaten off by the Spanish at San 
Domingo, and not daring to return home and report a failure, it contented 
itself with the much easier conquest of Jamaica. 

When this took place the greater part of the negro slaves belonging to the 
Spaniards fled to the mountains. Even before this date those negroes who 
disliked the mild servitude under the Spaniard (who never maltreated his 
African slaves as he did his Amerindian subjects) were constantly running 
away and living in the dense forests of the mountain peaks, where they made 

1 Said to mean in the Arawak language of the Greater Antilles " (the land of) wood and water." 
The name Xaymaca, or Jamaica, recurs in the geography of Eastern Cuba, and perhaps under slightly 
different forms in Haitian place-names, and in the Lesser Antilles. Xaymaca was probably at the time 
of Columbus's discovery pronounced Shaimaka, for it is possible that at that period the letter .1 in 
Castilian (as in Portuguese, Catalan, and most of the other Romance dialects of Spain) represented sh 
and not x (=^)> a s at present. 




common cause with the persecuted Arawaks. To these escaped slaves was 
given the name of " Cimarrones," or mountaineers — from Cima (a peak) — a 
term soon shortened into Marrones (English, Maroons). The earlier Maroons 
of Jamaica absorbed into their midst a small remnant of the Amerindian 
indigenes, the remainder of whom, from disease and Spanish oppression, had 
become extinct by the middle of the seventeenth century. Several thousand 
negroes, however, settled down comfortably under the Spanish colonists, and 
when Jamaica was invaded by a British force in 1655 many of the negro 
slaves fought valiantly on the side of the Spaniards. When the Spanish 



Government was finally eradicated from the island (by the defeat of Governor 
Sasi at Ocho Rios in 1657), most of the Spanish-speaking negroes took to the 
mountains and fused with the Maroons. 

The hostility of these escaped negroes was partially allayed in 1663 by the 
tacit acknowledgment of their freedom and the grant of twenty acres to 
every man who settled down under the British Government, and by the 
formation of a "black regiment" out of the more civilised young men, who 
agreed to serve under a negro head-man named Juan de Bolas. This leader 
was given the rank of colonel in the Jamaica militia. 

But Juan de Bolas was killed, and his regiment deserted or perished in the 
bush warfare, which began again in 1664, and lasted almost without intermission 
until the pacification of 1738. During this long period the Maroons (seldom 




2 43 

more than three thousand in number of fighting-men) seriously hindered the 
settlement and prosperity of Jamaica. They were at home in the pathless 
forests of the mountains, lived in the caves and among the precipices of 
the Cockpit country in North-West Jamaica, carried on a little furtive 
agriculture, and were dependent for their food on the wild pigs with which 
Jamaica then abounded, on land-crabs, pigeons, and fish ; besides such 
vegetables as they stole from the white men's plantations or found in the 

A small band of them would creep up to some planter's house at dead of 
flight, and if the place was insecurely guarded and the planter could be 
taken by surprise, would 
murder all the whites and 
burn down the buildings. 
White women were scarcely 
ever outraged ; they and 
their children were con- 
temptuously killed. 

A special police was or- 
ganised — -white and black — 
and the example of the 
Spaniards was followed in 
the employment of dogs to 
hunt down these bush thieves 
and assassins. (These dogs 
are described by Bryan 
Edwards in 1791 as "much 
resembling the shepherds' 
dogs in Great Britain, and 
being no larger, but possess- 
ing the keen scent of the 
bloodhound, the greyhound's 
agility, and the bulldog's 
courage.") In addition to 
the special bush constabulary 
with their fortified posts and 
packs of savage dogs, the 
Assembly of Jamaica decided 
in 1737 to import two hun- 
dred Mosquito Indians from , T .„ XTT ^ 


JNicaragua to track down the THE maroon negroes of west Jamaica, 1738 

enemy. 1 

These measures wore away the resistance of the Maroons, whose chiefs, 
" Captain Cudjoe, Captain Accompong, Captain Johnny, Captain Cuffee, Captain 
Quaco," accepted the overtures of peace proposed by the Governor, Sir William 
Trelawney, in 1738. In the articles of pacification they were granted 1 500 acres 
of land at Trelawney town (twenty miles inland from Montego, N.W. Jamaica), 
and 1000 acres at Accompong town and elsewhere in the Cockpit country. Their 
personal freedom was recognised, and they were to be paid thirty shillings in 

1 In 1741 a Jamaica law laid it down very positively that all Indians arriving in Jamaica were to be 
regarded as free people, that any attempt to sell them was punishable, and would be null and void. And 
a further law of George III inflicted the penalty of death on any one who kidnapped or stole an Indian. 



future (afterwards increased to three pounds) for every fugitive slave they 
brought back to his owner. 

From 1738 to 1795 the Maroons remained at peace with the British Govern- 
ment, and even in 1760 were allied with the British forces in putting down a 
serious rebellion of the Koromanti slaves in St Mary parish. But in 1795 (on 
a very frivolous pretext, probably because they had heard of the successful 
rising in Haiti) they broke out into rebellion and endeavoured to provoke a 
general rising of the slaves. In this they were nearly successful (but for the 
prompt action of Governor the Earl of Balcarres). A few surrendered to the 
British at the commencement of the trouble, but the remainder — only some five, 
hundred fighting-men, all told — inflicted several reverses on the British troops, 


retired into the difficult Cockpit country and thence sent out marauding expe- 
ditions resulting in the murder of numerous white men and women. The only 
thing which had any effect on them was the threatened employment of dogs. 
Forty Cuban hunters and one hundred Cuban dogs were imported, and soon 
afterwards the whole of the Maroons had surrendered to the authorities. Those 
who gave themselves up before January 1st, 1796, were allowed to remain in 
Jamaica, and from them are descended the Maroons of to-day, 1 settled at Moore 
Town (N.E. Jamaica) and at various places in their old haunts round the Cock- 
pit country. But of the most recalcitrant nearly six hundred were transported 
to Nova Scotia and eventually to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Here they gave 
more trouble and were generally at the bottom of any rows or riots occurring in 
the early days of that once dreary settlement and now model colony. 

1 Whom Governor Eyre employed in suppressing the alleged negro revolt of 1865. 




There was a remarkable spirit about the Maroons which, in spite of occa- 
sional episodes of cowardice or treachery, seems to have inspired a liking and 
respect in the minds of the British officers fighting against them, the sympathy- 
felt for the " first-class fighting-man." So much so, that when the Assembly of 
Jamaica decided to transport a third of the Maroons to Nova Scotia (and thereby 
rid the colony of the terror they had inspired for a hundred and forty years) 
Major-General Walpole, the principal officer commanding the troops engaged 
in suppressing the Maroon rising, declined to accept the sword of honour voted 
him by the House of Assembly. 

The Maroons can scarcely be said to have " reverted " to savagery, since they 
had never known civilisation. They went 
almost naked, and frequently became 
cannibals in the excitement of warfare or 
revenge. They were principally de- 
rived from the tribes of the Gold Coast — - 
some unusually warlike strain — and did 
not among themselves speak English, but 
a jargon compc*S£d (it is said) of two or 
three Gold Coast languages, some Spanish, 
and a little English. Of the very few 
African words which survive in the negro 
dialects and folk-lore of Jamaica it is 
certain that the majority are derived from 
the Chwi language of the Ashanti and 
Fanti. The word for "white man" — 
bakara (buckra) is, however, from the 
Bantu or semi-Bantu languages of the 
Cross River and Western Cameroons 
(Mu-kara, singular ; Ba-kara, plural). 

In 1673 the cultivation of sugar was 
systematically commenced in Jamaica by 
twelve hundred (mainly English) settlers 
who arrived from Surinam (Dutch 
Guiana), where they had been placed by 
Lord Willoughby in 1663. They colo- 
nised Westmoreland parish (westernmost 
Jamaica). The last quarter of the seventeenth century saw an enormous 
demand for sugar arising throughout Europe. No longer content with the 
niggardly and costly supplies received from the Spanish Antilles (through the 
trading houses of Seville and Barcelona) or from Madeira or Egypt, the 
awakening world of Northern and Central Europe saw in the undefended 
portions of Brazil, of the Guianas, and of the lesser West Indian islands splendid 
opportunities for the unlimited production of sugar from the sugar-cane ; the 
only rival to which as a saccharoid being the analogous sweet Sorghum or 
Holcus reed of Asia and Africa (also introduced into America), or the honey 
of antiquity ; for beetroot as a source of sugar was not to be called into existence 
till the beginning of the nineteenth century. The cultivation of sugar-cane 
could only be carried on by negro labour ; consequently it produced a great 
development of the African slave-trade. 

In 1673 there were 9504 negroes in Jamaica (apart from the Maroons) 
as against 7768 whites. In 1690 the number of negro slaves had risen to 




40,000, while the whites had decreased to a slight extent. Coffee was in- 
troduced into Jamaica (from Surinam) in 1721 1 and increased the need of 
servile labour for its cultivation. Pimento or Allspice 2 was a wild Jamaican 
product which only patient negroes could gather. 

.Apart from the needs of Jamaican agriculture, large numbers of slaves were 
imported into Jamaica from the West African coast, in order to keep the 
Spanish Antilles supplied with black labour under the Asiento. This contract 
with the Spanish Crown had been assigned to a French company in 1701, 
though apparently a British company had been formed for the purpose in 


The original capital of Jamaica after the earthquake at Port Royal in 1692 until 1872, 
when the seat of government was removed to Kingston 

1 The genus Coffea grows naturally in the densely forested regions of tropical Africa and Asia, a closely 
allied genus also being found in tropical America. The twin seeds of the Asiatic Coffea are useless for 
making the beverage : they are too bitter. In Africa the genus Coffea develops sixteen or seventeen distinct 
species, of which the Liberian coffee is remarkable for its large berry and resistance to fungoid diseases, 
and Coffea arabica — the first type to become known to the civilised world — for its delicious aroma and 
small berry. Coffea arabica probably grows wild in the forested part of Southern Abyssinia and 
Galaland, Uganda, and the well-watered regions of Equatorial Africa. It was first of all valued by the 
Gala and Gala-like negroids for the sweet pulp of its berries, but the Abyssinians and later the Arabs of 
Yaman and Aden (the shrub was early introduced into the well-watered mountains of Yaman) took 
to roasting the beans and making from them a stimulating beverage. The vogue of this decoction 
reached Constantinople and thence Europe through the French and English merchants trading with 
the Levant. Coffee-drinking was well established in France by 1650 and in England by 1660. Some 
Arabs who traded between Mokha and Java gave a few coffee beans to the Dutch Governor-General 
of that island, who forthwith commenced the cultivation of coffee in Java, and further sent one plant to 
the Dutch East India Company at Amsterdam. This one plant produced the seeds and plants which 
were sent out to Surinam (Dutch Guiana) in 1718 ; and from Surinam the coffee shrub spread to Jamaica 
(1721), Martinique (1724), Haiti, and Brazil. In Jamaica the coffee shrub flourished so greatly that it 
gave rise to distinct varieties of value, such as the " Orange" and the " Blue Mountain," and these have 
been sent to stock the plantations of Nyasaland in South-East Africa. 

2 Pimento is the berry of a tree about thirty feet high, which grows exclusively in the West Indies and 
particularly in Jamaica on the limestone hills near the sea-coast. It is the Eugenia pimenta and might 
almost be adopted as the national tree of Jamaica. Apparently it is impossible to transplant or to 
cultivate the Pimento tree. All that can be done is to clear the ground around the trees, saplings, and 
bushes to encourage their natural growth. 



Jamaica in 1689, and the profitable privilege having been transferred to French 
hands was one of the grievances which provoked the great war of the Spanish 
succession in 1702. 1 By the Treaty of Utrecht in 171 3 the monopoly of the 
Spanish slave-trade fell to Britain, and the South Sea Company was founded 
(1711) to carry slaves from Jamaica to Spanish South xAmerica. 


In the foreground is one of the guns captured by Rodney from Count De Grasse on 
April 12th, 1782, in his decisive naval victory 

In 1732 occurred the first hint of better times for the Jamaica slaves : the 
Moravian missionaries settled in the island. 2 But the maltreatment of the 
slaves was considerable. They were constantly running away to the wild 

1 Another was that in June, 1694, a French fleet under Du Casse, the Governor of St. Domingue, had 
landed soldiers on the south-east coast of Jamaica near Kingston and ravaged the country as far as Port 
Morant, attempting to raise the negroes against the English ; burning the white settlements, and cruelly 
torturing the white planters or officials whom they captured. By a refinement of wickedness, dans le vrai 
esprit ganlois they (the French soldiers) forced these captive planters to witness the violation of their 
English wives by their own negro slaves (Bryan Edwards). 

2 Also in Antigua and radiating from St. Thomas. See p. 230 and chapter on Danish West Indies. 



Maroons in the western part of the island, and when this outlet to their 
feelings was checked by the agreement with the Maroons already referred 
to, the slaves broke out into serious insurrections in 1746 and 1760. 

In 1764 there were 140,454 slaves in Jamaica, but public attention in Britain 
was becoming interested in the ethics of slavery. 1 The Methodists of England 

began in 1760 (in Antigua) 
to preach to the slaves ; in 
1783 a negro Baptist preacher 
was actually addressing slave 
congregations in Kingston 

The American War found 
negroes fighting in the British 
armies, and these black sol- 
diers had virtually been 
emancipated by this service 
to the Crown. Some of these 
men of the South Carolina 
Regiment were eventually 
merged in the 1st West 
India Regiment, raised in 
"Martinico" in 1795, under 
Major-General Whyte; others 
drifted to Jamaica, settled in 
the towns, and added to the 
number of the embarrassing 
free negroes. 

In 1787 the Wesleyan 
Mission was founded in 

In 1777 the first motion 
was made in England against 
the Slave-trade. 


In 1787-8 the 


agitation in England against 
the slave-trade and slavery, 

and the return to Jamaica 
of released slaves, excited a ferment among the Jamaica negroes (quite distinct 
from the Maroon movement) which culminated in a slave insurrection in Tre- 
lawney parish, early in 1798. 

Prior to this uprising of the Jamaica slaves an attempt had been made in 
March, 1792, to amend and consolidate the local laws dealing with slavery and 
the slave-trade. As early as 1735 a law had been passed ordaining that slave 
families put up to auction on their arrival from Africa were as far as possible to 
be sold as one family to a single master, but this rule had fallen into disuse. 

1 Amongst other harsh regulations in force about this time and for long afterwards was the following : 
No mulatto, " Indian," or negro whatsoever was allowed in Jamaica to hawk or carry about, to sell any 
sort of goods, wares, merchandise whatsoever, except provisions, fruits, fresh fish, milk, and poultry ; but 
these again could only be sold provided the mulatto, " Indian," or negro had a ticket from the master or 
owner of such goods. Mulattoes, " Indians," or negroes were entirely confined to retail trade in these 
articles. If they bought up provisions, etc., " to re-vend or engross," they were to be flogged with not 
more than thirty-nine lashes. This regulation applied to free negroes and mulattoes as well as to slaves. 



It was now revived in the Consolidated Slave Act of December, 1797, which 
further provided that it should be part of the duty of each rector or curate in 
Jamaica to appoint and appropriate a certain portion of time in each Sunday, 
either before or after the performance of Divine worship, for the instruction of 
every free person of colour and of every slave who may be willing to be 
baptised and instructed in the doctrines of the Christian religion. 1 By this 
time there were about 4000 free negroes or half-castes in Jamaica. Their 
position was very miserable as they were not provided for in the Constitution. 
In 1799 Commissioner Roume of Haiti sent agents and funds to Jamaica to try 
to stir up a rebellion among the free men of colour and the slaves in order to 
embarrass the British Gov- 
ernment, but his efforts failed 
and a number of incriminated 
blacks and mulattoes were 
shot or hanged. 

Nevertheless, in spite of 
simmering discontent among 
the slaves, Jamaica exported 
in 1803 her record crop of 
sugar, and the island was 
very prosperous, though it 
required an average annual 
consignment of 6000 slaves 
to keep up the requisite 
labour supply. In 1807, 
when the slave-trade was 
abolished by the British Par- 
liament (to take effect the 
next year), there were 323,827 
negroes in Jamaica. In 18 14 
Jamaica exported 34,045,585 
despatched from the island. 

In 1810, in the jubilee year of George III, the Jamaican Assembly laid 
down the law that no slave by becoming a Christian thereby became free ; but 
since the abolition of the slave-trade the treatment of the slaves had improved. 
And though the House of Assembly refused to adopt Canning's House of 
Commons Resolutions of 1823, 2 for the improvement of the conditions 
of slavery, they had already passed in 18 16 an "Act for the protection, sub- 
sisting, clothing and better order, regulation and government of slaves." 

According to the terms of this Act, slaves were to be religiously instructed, 

1 This Act, I believe, or one somewhat later, dealt with the right to export — expatriate — slaves from 
Jamaica or the other British West India colonies — except as a punishment ordered by law. The 
misery often entailed on Jamaica slaves by the death or bankruptcy of their master was extreme. 

" In a few years a good negro gets comfortably established, he has built himself a house, obtained a 
wife, and begins to see a young family rising about him. His provision ground, the creation of his own 
industry and the staff of his existence, affords him not only support but the means also of adding some- 
thing to the mere necessaries of life. In this situation he is seized on by the sheriff's officer, forcibly 
separated from his wife and children, dragged to public auction, purchased by a stranger, and perhaps 
sent to terminate his miserable existence in the mines of Mexico ; excluded for ever from the light of 
heaven, and all this without any crime or demerit on his part, real or pretended. He is punished because 
his master is dead or has been unfortunate." (Bryan Edwards, History of the West Indies.) Edwards 
adds in a foot-note that it was he himself who carried through the British House of Commons in 1797 a 
Bill making it illegal to sell negroes so as to expatriate them. 

- See page 312. 


lbs. of coffee, the largest annual crop ever 

2 5 2 


fitted for baptism, baptised, and "made sensible of a duty to God and the 
Christian faith." They were to be allowed one free day in every fortnight 
besides Sundays, except during the crop season (though the Sunday was not 
of much use to them owing to the compulsory closing of shops !). But even 
during the crop season the slaves were to have an absolute remission from work 


between Saturday night and Monday morning. When not provided with 
a piece of land to cultivate on his own account a slave was to be allowed 
3s. 4d. a week for his maintenance. They were also to be supplied with proper 
and sufficient clothing. Every female slave who had six children living, either 
born to her or adopted by her and brought up, was to be exempted from all 
hard labour in the field, and the owner of such female slave was to be ex- 
empted from all taxation on account of such female slave. No master was to 


turn away slaves on account of sickness or infirmity, but was to maintain them 
in food, clothing, and lodging for the rest of their lives. Manumitted negroes 
without means of support were to be maintained by the parishes, who were to 
recover their expenditure from the master, unless he had made sufficient provi- 
sion for the freed slave. By this law also it was definitely laid down that any 
person wantonly, willingly, or bloody-mindedly killing, or causing to be killed, 
any negro or slave, should be adjudged guilty of felony, without benefit of 
clergy, and suffer death accordingly. Imprisonment was also to be inflicted on 
any person who mutilated, cruelly treated, or confined without sufficient support 
any slave ; and in the case of atrocious cruelty the slave might be given his free- 
dom and receive a sum of £10 a year for his or her maintenance and support. 
It was also forbidden to load the body or limbs of a slave with chains or weights, 
or to fix an iron collar about the neck without the directions of a magistrate. 

Manumission of slaves bv will was facilitated. But if the deceased's estate 
was in debt, the manumission might not hold good, as the slaves would have 
first of all to be sold in satisfaction oi such debts. Any slave going under the 
appellation of " Obeah," man or woman, and pretending to have communication 
with the Devil and other spirits, and attempting to use their influence to excite 
rebellion or other evil purposes, or to endanger the life or health of any other 
slave, were upon conviction to suffer death or transportation. A slave was also 
"by flagellation or imprisonment with hard labour" to be punished if found 
guilty of preaching and teaching as an Anabaptist or otherwise, without a per- 
mission from the owner and the quarter sessions. Transportation was to be in- 
flicted " on any slave found in the possession of poisonous drugs, pounded glass, 
parrot beaks, dogs' teeth, alligators' teeth, or other materials notoriously used in 
the practice of witchcraft." l 

In 1824 free negroes and people of colour were admitted to the Courts 
to give evidence on oath. 2 

1 Obia (misspelt Obeah) seems to be a variant or a corruption of an Erik or Ibo word from the north- 
east or east of the Niger delta, which simply means " Doctur.'' The system embodied in that word (say 
also "medicine") is, like all European medical practice before the eighteenth century and many of the 
rites of Christianity in its healing formuke, largely empirical. It is at once fetishism and magic, sorcery, 
hypnotism, faith-healing, thought-transference : in short, that royal road to results in a command over 
natural forces that humanity constantly hopes to achieve : not by patient study of cause and effect, and 
the employment of the proper physical agencies, but by blind guesswork, by wild supposition ; hoping 
through some hundredth chance to stumble, without many years of preparatory study, on some wonder- 
ful new law which like the X-rays may make light of matter. 

Obia is like Hudu or Vudu a part of the fetishistic belief which prevails over nearly all Africa, much 
of Asia, and a good deal of America. It would have been quite at home in the England of Elizabeth. 
In its "well-meaning" forms, it is medical treatment by drugs or suggestion, combined with a worship of 
the powers of Nature and a propitiation of evil spirits ; in its bad types it is an attempt to frighten, obsess, 
and hypnotise, and failing the production of results by this hocus-pocus, to poison. 

From the fiss-fass-fuss which is made by writers on American subjects relative to Obia and Vudu, one 
would think that this mixture of nonsense, of empiricism, of nauseous superstition, malignity, kindly 
sympathy, pathetic "feeling after God," positive knowledge of genuine therapeutics, glimmering of the 
possibilities latent in the human brain was peculiar to the mental composition of the Negro. V\ hereas 
it is (or was yesterday) just as evident in the white man's religion, freemasonry, medicine, quacks and 
quackery, Mrs. Eddys, Cagliostros, peasant witchcraft, and ex-voto offerings : it is equally sublime 
and not much more ridiculous. 

The negro police of Jamaica are now (no doubt by order) very much — and very rightly — "down on 
those who practise Obia. In The Gleaner, the principal newspaper of Jamaica, there was correspondence 
during 1909 which complained that the police dealt too harshly with men and women whose utmost crime 
was little worse than that of some of the new, ostensibly religious, sects' in Jamaica — the obtaining 
money under false pretences. Severe floggings (it is alleged) " until the blood runs from the wounds 
are inflicted on so-called Obia men who have merely attempted to tell fortunes by palmistry or crystal- 

s azi , n s- 

- About the same period (as part of the reforms encouraged by Canning in the British Parliament of 
1823) similar concessions — the admission of slave evidence on oath against their master or any one else 


In 183 1, however, the negroes of North-West Jamaica, impatient of the slow 
progress of the emancipation movement, broke out into rebellion and destroyed 
property to the value of £666,977, and the British Government had to come to 
the relief of the wellnigh ruined planters with a loan of iJ"200,ooo. 1 

1834 saw the definite abolition of slavery in Jamaica and the rest of the 
British possessions in America. The slaves then existing in Jamaica on whom 
compensation was paid (£5,853,975 altogether) only numbered 255,290. These 
were to continue to serve as apprentices for another four years. 

In 1838, therefore, the white and coloured Jamaica planters found them- 
selves with no certain labour force at their disposal, for many of the ex-slaves 
declined to do any work when they had provided for their immediate susten- 
ance. An attempt was made by some of the planters to recruit more " free 
labourers" from West Africa, but this was opposed by the British Government 
as likely to renew slavery under another name. Indian coolies were imported 
in 1845, the experiment having already been successfully tried in British 
Guiana in 1838. But the Honourable East India Company imposed such 
expensive restrictions on this enterprise that it was abandoned and not renewed 
until 1868. 

During this interval of time — between 1845 and 1868 — the condition of 
Jamaica was discouraging. The adoption of Free Trade by the Mother 
Country actually ruined the island and made it bankrupt, however splendid 

in the British Courts of the West Indies — removed a great hindrance to the administration of justice. 
Hitherto as no slave could testify (at any rate against a white man), very few owners in British America or 
in the Southern United States were ever convicted of heinous crimes against their slaves. 

1 No honest-hearted person can wonder that the negroes rose in rebellion against the cruel planters 
of this time who delves into the annals of the years between 1816 and 1833. When the anxieties of the 
Napoleonic wars and of the Haitian conspiracies were over the treatment of Jamaican slaves again 
became unbearably bad, especially in the north and west of the island. 

Charles Buxton, the son of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, quotes the following instance (of which at 
least a hundred similar are recorded in other books and Government Reports) of the flogging of women 
in Jamaica occurring as late as 1832. It is recorded by a Mr. Whiteley, who was bookkeeper on the New 
Ground Plantation near St. Ann's Bay in Jamaica. 

" The twelfth instance (he has quoted other cases of the same atrocious character) was that of a 
married woman, the mother of several children. She was brought up to the overseer's door one morning, 
and one of the drivers who came with her accused her of having stolen a fowl. Some feathers, said to 
have been found in her hut, were exhibited as evidence of her guilt. The overseer asked her if she could 
pay for the fowl. She said something in reply which I did not clearly understand. The question was 
repeated, and a similar reply again was given. The overseer then said, ' Put her down.' On this the 
woman set up a shriek, and rent the air with her cries of terror. Her countenance grew quite ghastly, 
and her lips became pale and livid. I was close to her, and particularly noticed her remarkable aspect 
and expression of countenance. The overseer swore fearfully, and repeated his order, ' Put her down ! ' 
The woman was then extended on the ground, and held down by two negroes. Her gown and shift were 
literally torn from her back, and, thus brutally exposed, she was subjected to the cart-whip. The punish- 
ment inflicted on this poor creature was inhumanly severe. She was a woman somewhat plump in her 
person, and the whip being wielded with great vigour, every stroke cut deep into the flesh. She writhed 
and twisted her body violently under the infliction, moaning loudly, but uttering no exclamation in words, 
except one, when she cried out entreating that her nakedness might not be indecently exposed, appearing 
to suffer from matronly modesty even more acutely on account of her indecent exposure than the cruel 
laceration of her body. But the overseer only noticed her appeal by a brutal reply, and the flogging 
continued. Disgusted as I was, I witnessed the whole to a close. I numbered the lashes, stroke by 
stroke, and counted /f//r, thus exceeding by eleven the number allowed by the colonial law to be inflicted 
at the arbitrary will of the master or manager. This was the only occasion on which I saw the legal 
number of thirty-nine lashes exceeded ; but I never knew the overseer or head bookkeeper give less than 
thirty-nine. This poor victim was shockingly lacerated. When permitted to rise she again shrieked 
violently. The overseer swore roughly, and threatened if she was not quiet to put her down again. He 
then ordered her to be taken to the hot-house, or hospital, and put in the stocks. She was to be continued 
in the stocks for several nights, while she worked in the yard during the day at light work. She was too 
severely mangled to be able to go to the field for some days." — From The Memoirs of Sir Thomas Fowell 
Buxton, Bart., by Charles Buxton (John Murray, 1877). 


2 SS 

might be the results of cheap food and raw material in the United Kingdom. 
Before 1846, the sugar of the British West Indies was protected in British 
ports by a heavy differential duty, levied on non-British sugar (from Cuba, 
United States, etc.). As this " foreign " sugar was slave-produced and that of 
Jamaica had now to be worked with uncertain and expensive free labour; yet 
as both received equal treatment in the British custom-houses ; Jamaican 
and other British American sugar soon ceased to yield any profit. 1 

Cholera ravaged the island in 1850 and there were periodical outbreaks of 
yellow fever. The enfranchised negroes were restless and dissatisfied with 
their meagre allotment of land. Hurricanes destroyed the crops, and through 
one cause and another the mass of the people were frequently on the verge of 

Although with freedom came the removal of all ostensible colour distinc- 
tions in the exercise of the 
franchise, yet as a matter of 
fact the greater part of the 
coloured population of Jam- 
aica was on various specious 
pretexts kept out of the 
franchise which was legally 
itsdue. The Jamaican House 
of Assemblv all through the 
first half of the nineteenth 
century seems to have been 
singularly arbitrary and cor- 
rupt. The Governor was 
little more than a cipher, 
and the white planters, for 
good or ill, completely swayed 
the Government of Jamaica. 
No regard whatever (accord- 
ing to the testimony of 
Governor Eyre) was paid to 
the fitness in character, education, or morals of the various white officials of 
the island whose appointment did not lie directly with- the British Govern- 
ment ; it was sufficient that they should be white. Consequently law and 
justice were not infrequently administered most unfairly — even cruelly — by 
white magistrates and J.P.'s to negro or mulatto subjects. Even as late as 
1864, out of a total population of nearly 440,000, only 1903 persons were 
entitled to vote for the forty-seven members of the House of Assembly, and 
the greater part of these voters were white men. There seem to have been 
one or two negro or negroid members of the House of Assembly elected (from 
amongst the free people of colour) during the thirties of the nineteenth century, 
but these cases became rarer during the fifties, although the white population 
was only in the proportion of one to thirty-two coloured. The Duke of New- 
castle when Colonial Minister in 1864 drew the attention of Governor Eyre to 
the fact that "the bulk of the population of Jamaica are not represented in its 

1 Some writers in the forties and fifties thought that the British Government, in spite of its new 
ilevotion to Free Trade principles and cheap food, might have discriminated in its custom-houses between 
sugar and cotton grown by slaves and the same products resulting from free labour. 


The remains of a once noble mansion of the eighteenth century, 
abandoned by its ruined owner after 1846 



During the middle of the nineteenth century the Acts which were passed 
by this white House of Assembly were frequently of such an oppressive and 
even outrageous character that they were constantly refused the approval of the 
Oueen. "Of forty Acts actually passed by the Assembly in 1861-2, and 
allowed by the Colonial Office, only one in the slightest degree touched the 
well-being of the labouring classes — an Act about Industrial Schools. All the 
rest related to increased taxation, the increase of paid offices, Immigration 
Bills, which in no respect could be said to be beneficial to the labouring classes, 
and the like. Not one gave direct attention to the wants of the coloured 
people. Some were actually injurious to their welfare. The planters and the 

white population were careful of their own 
interests alone." 1 

This denunciation of the Assembly 
was endorsed by several white mem- 
bers of that body, who referred to the 
rest of their colleagues as the " forty 

The state of affairs grew worse during 
the long illness of Governor Darling, and 
Mr. Edward John Eyre (who had pre- 
viously been administering the affairs of 
Antigua) was sent to Jamaica in 1862 as 
Lieutenant-Governor. His first achieve- 
ments were certainly those of a reformer, 
and in consequence he was soon at issue 
with the corrupt House of Assembly, 
whose proceedings he characterised in 
terms of the strongest condemnation. 
In 1864 the House of Assembly forwarded 
a memorial to the Queen in which they 
declined to do any further business with 
Governor Eyre. Nevertheless he was in 
that year appointed Captain-General and 
Governor of Jamaica. 

And yet Mr. Eyre seems not to have 
grasped the true causes of Jamaican 
unrest and commercial failure, viz. the outrageous over-taxation of the poor 
people (£300,000 had been added to the public taxes during the first two 
years of Eyre's administration, and that " not for the public benefit, but for 
the profit of private individuals"), the denial to them of the barest justice 
in the law courts, the unchecked exactions of land agents and white land- 
lords. Eyre himself, in a despatch to the Colonial Office in March, 1865, 
wrote : " The young and strong of both sexes, those who are well able to 
work, fill the gaols of the colony." The American Civil War then raging 
added in various ways to the misery of Jamaica and the grinding poverty of 
75 per cent of its population. But Eyre, though he was quick to detect 
and denounce the licentiousness, drunkenness, and political dishonesty of 
the white minority, could devise no plan for bettering the condition of the 

1 These remarks are quoted from a book of great interest dealing with the Jamaica of the sixties— 
The Tragedy of Movant Bay, by Edward Bean Underhill, LL.D., then Honorary Secretary of the Baptist 
Missionary Society. (London: 1895.) 



black peasantry but to punish them for their complaints and imprison them 
for their idleness. 

It was under these circumstances that Dr. Edward Bean Underhill, the 
Honorary Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society of Great Britain, who had 
travelled through Jamaica in 1859-60, decided to write to the Secretary of 
State for the Colonies. [The Society whose affairs he directed had in 1864 felt 
it necessary to send a considerable sum of money to relieve the famine and 
distress amongst the negroes of Jamaica, and had received from the pastors 
of its church in that island a detailed description of the misery of the black 
populace and its causes.] His letter went to the root of the matter. 1 

Mr. Cardwell, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, sent a copy of this 
" Underhill " letter to Governor Eyre. Somehow the contents of the letter 
leaked out from the Governor's office (though not in any way through the 
Baptist Missionary Society) ; in fact it had become public property in Jamaica 
by the 28th February, 1865. Early in March of that year publicity was given by 
the Governor himself to the letter, through its being sent with an accompanying 
circular to almost every official, great and small, throughout the island, and 
to the clergy of all denominations. Consequently it was reprinted in all the 
newspapers and made known to everybody, rich and poor, black and white. 

The result was an extraordinary ferment amongst the negroes and 
mulattoes, a ferment to a certain extent countenanced by such whites (even 
magistrates) as were inclined to deal fairly with the coloured population. 

A great public meeting was called for the 3rd of May, in the city of 
Kingston. The mayor of that city was to have presided, but was prevented 
at the last moment by illness. His place was taken by George William 
Gordon, 2 a mulatto or octoroon citizen, who represented Port Morant district 

1 It is quoted in full on page xiii in the book already alluded to, The Tragedy of Morant Bay. It 
recapitulated the extreme poverty of the Jamaica negroes, and state of intermittent starvation ; the 
excessive taxation, unemployment owing to decay of sugar industry, and the unjust tribunals. It made 
some most sensible and " modern " recommendations as to curative measures. It was, in fact, a states- 
manlike document. 

2 Dr. Underhill describes George William Gordon as " a half-caste by birth, but a man of property, 
of good education and standing in society, married to an English wife, and of a religious habit of mind 
... a staunch and an unfailing advocate of the interests of the negro . . . and often an opponent of" 
the Governor's measures in the Assembly." He was latterly a member of the Baptist Church and. 
interested himself a good deal in Baptist missionary work, as well as in an attempt to solve the land.' 
disputes with fairness to the coloured people. He was described by Governor Eyre as "the most con- 
sistent and untiring obstructor of the public business in the House of Assembly." He had long held 
a commission as a magistrate, but this was taken from him by Governor Eyre. Although the Secretary 
of State for the Colonies did not restore the commission, he nevertheless required Governor Eyre to 
apologise to the " Honble. George William Gordon " for harsh terms used in correspondence. (Gordon's 
magistracy was taken away from him because he had spoken angrily to a brother magistrate as to the 
insanitary condition of a certain gaol, for which the latter was responsible.) 

A year or so before the outbreak at Morant Bay, Gordon, though elected, had failed to secure appoint- 
ment to the office of churchwarden, and attributed this disappointment to the hostility of Baron von 
Ketelhodt and the Rev. Mr. Herschell, a clergyman-magistrate. His desire to sit as a churchwarden 
arose from his wish to criticise the expenditure of public funds by the Church of England clergy of 
Morant Bay Parish. 

Gordon was in serious financial difficulties at the time of the outbreak, owing as much as ^"35,000 - 
but he had a great deal of landed property. His financial stress seems to have been due to failure of 
crops and the inability of many of his tenants to pay their rents. 

Gordon attacked the administration of Governor Eyre in the press and freely criticised him in 
private conversations. He was wont, after the manner of coloured people of that period, to ventilate his 
private and public grievances rather windily, with many invocations of the Deity, and vague aspirations 
that a special Divine vengeance would fall on the oppressors of the coloured man and of himself in 
particular. His recorded utterances were just as much — and no more— provocative of an armed rising as 
are the daily diatribes of politicians at the present day against the party in power, in England or the 
United States. 


2 5 8 


of St. Thomas's Parish in the House of Assembly. At this first meeting in 
Kingston, Mr. Gordon, though chairman, said scarcely anything. 

A good many other meetings were held at all the principal centres of the 
population about the island, usually presided over by white members of the 
House of Assembly who agreed with the terms of Dr. Underbill's letter and 
were in favour of general reform. In April, 1865, the negroes of Northern 
Jamaica (the Parish of St. Ann) drew up themselves and forwarded through 
the Government to Queen Victoria a humble petition, describing their 
destitute state and their inability to pay the heavy taxes now demanded, and 
equally heavy export duty on their produce. Unfortunately the reply to this 
petition (obviously drawn up by Governor Eyre himself, though sent from the 
Colonial Office in London) was needlessly unsympathetic and harsh, in fact, 
a State blunder. When made known to the black people of Jamaica it caused 
the profoundest dissatisfaction, and for this condition of their minds blame was 
venomously thrown back by Governor Eyre on the Baptists and the inter- 
vention of Dr. Underhill. The Colonial Office in London called Dr. Underbill's 
attention to Governor Eyre's reports, and Underhill then advised that a Royal 
Commission should be sent out to Jamaica at once to report impartially on the 
condition of the country. Had this advice been adopted and notice of it sent 
out to Jamaica, there would have been no tragedy of Morant Bay, and the 
subsequent career of Governor Eyre might quite possibly have ended happily. 
But the Colonial Office did nothing except continue its conferences with 
Dr. Underhill. 

On the 1 2th August, 1865, a public meeting was called at the little seaside 
town of Morant Bay (St. Thomas in the East) by the Custos of the parish, 
Baron von Ketelhodt, to discuss the " Underhill" Letter. G. W. Gordon, who, 
as already stated, represented this district in the House of Assembly, took the 
chair ; and a number of resolutions were unanimously adopted calling atten- 
tion to the unsatisfactory condition of Jamaica. Although the Custos 
(a German planter-magistrate) called the meeting, he disliked Mr. Gordon, 
and vainly attempted to prevent the meeting taking place when he learned 
who was asked to preside over it. After the meeting was over a deputa- 
tion walked forty miles to Spanish Town (then the capital) to lay the resolu- 
tions before the Governor. He refused to receive the deputation. 

At that time much dissatisfaction was felt over land and trespass questions 
round about Morant Bay, where a certain Church of England clergyman- 
magistrate and the aforementioned Baron von Ketelhodt had made themselves 
disliked by their " oppressive and unjust conduct." Baron von Ketelhodt 
presided at a Court of Petty Sessions on the 7th October. It was a market- 
day, and a large number of negro peasants were collected in the vicinity of 
the Court. A case of assault was brought by a woman against a boy, who was 
convicted and fined four shillings. But the Court added to the fine costs 
amounting to twelve shillings and sixpence. A negro who was present in 
Court advised the boy to pay the fine only and not the costs. A rumpus 
ensued, the negro being arrested for contempt of court and rescued by the 
bystanders. A far more important case was about to be tried dealing with land 
disputes at Stony Gut (a place five miles north of Morant Bay). This was 
a case which should have been put before a judge and jury. In dealing with 
this the Court of Petty Sessions was acting ultra vires. 

The land about Stony Gut was claimed by several whites, including a 
curate, the Rev. Mr. Herschell ; but the negroes in the vicinity declared it was 



Crown land and that they were at liberty to squat on it. Foremost among 
these squatters was a negro, Paul Bogle, who assumed a very truculent tone 
with the authorities in his communications. He was also an ardent Baptist 
and a friend and correspondent of G. W. Gordon. But both he and Gordon 
may have thought they were defending the legitimate rights of the peasantry 
against white land-grabbers. In the matter of Stony Gut it does not follow 
that they were, and Paul Bogle and his brother Moses were not precisely 


peasants, but educated men somewhat inclined to work up grievances and turn 
them to profit. In fact in the two brothers Bogle — especially Paul — we have 
the only two culpable ringleaders concerned in this Morant Bay rising. Paul 
Bogle (who was afterwards hanged) was certainly guilty of stirring up the 
people to attack and plunder without provocation the plantations and houses 
of the whites. But no evidence could be adduced of the Bogles being urged 
by G. W. Gordon to deeds of violence or to anything worse than contentious 

The trouble following the riot of the 7th October and the anxiety about the 
issue of this land-suit led to the usual appeal to Governor Eyre, met by the 
usual rebuff. On the 12th October, 1865, a large crowd of dissatisfied negroes 


assembled in an open space facing the Court House. Baron von Ketelhodt 
called upon them to disperse, but as they began to throw stones he very shortly 
afterwards ordered the volunteers to fire on the crowd, several of whom were 
killed. There was instantly the cry of "war." The volunteers were disarmed, 
a few white men were killed [amongst them Baron von Ketelhodt 1 and the 
Rev. Mr. Herschell, "whose oppressive acts of injustice had especially roused 
the passions of the people"' 2 ], but not a single white woman or child was 
injured. During the two following days, however, several plantations were 
attacked, houses burnt, and one or two planters killed. The total number of 
persons (only a few of whom were white) murdered by the rioters amounted to 
eighteen, and the wounded whites and blacks were thirty-one. Two or three 
of the whites were killed by being beaten to death, the others were slain with 
guns or knives in the general melee or in the attacks on the plantations. A 
few buildings were burned at Morant Bay, including the Court House and 
school. That was the entire extent of the " Morant Bay Rebellion." No 
white woman was outraged. Many negresses and a few negroes intervened 
at the risk of their lives to save white men from death. 

So much for the crime. This was the punishment. Mr. Eyre and a 
sufficient military force were soon on the scene, and martial law was proclaimed 
on the 13th October, the day following the outbreak. The number of persons 
executed by the order of this and other courts-martial was ascertained to have 
been 354 ; but in addition there were shot, hung, or killed without trial 85 — 
a total of 439 negro men and women. Of these, 147 were put to death on the 
25th October, at least ten days after the extinction of anything resembling 
riot or disorder. One thousand negro houses were burnt to the ground, and 
literally thousands of negroes were more or less cruelly flogged or mutilated. 
The Maroons who were called in to aid in punishing the peasantry of Eastern 
Jamaica killed children by dashing their brains out, and ripped open pregnant 
women. The Royal Commissioners — finally appointed to deal with the Jamaican 
situation at the close of 1865 — described these floggings as "reckless and 
positively barbarous." 3 

But this was not all. Mr. Eyre seems almost to have parted with his reason 
and to have believed without any proof in a " diabolical conspiracy to murder 
the white and coloured inhabitants of Jamaica," a conspiracy which he boasted 
of having crushed within the first three days following the preliminary 
outbreak. 4 ■ 

He then returned to Kingston on the 16th October and issued a warrant at 
that place {which was not under martial law) for the arrest of George William 
Gordon, determining to hold him responsible for the outbreak at Morant Bay, 
though he had not visited that place since presiding at the " Underhill " meeting 
of August 1 2th, 1865. Gordon, who resided near Kingston, being warned by 
friends before the issue of the warrant that owing to unguarded expressions 

1 It should be noted that when the situation seemed hopeless Baron von Ketelhodt offered to give 
himself up to the rioters if they would let the other white men go free. 

2 Dr. Underhill. 

5 The floggings were sometimes inflicted with a cat in the strings of which piano-wire was inter- 
woven. Sometimes two hundred lashes were administered : frequently one hundred. Women were 
flogged (with the cat, but not with piano-wire) and received from fifty to ten lashes. Vide Report of Royal 
Commission, 1866. 

4 Nevertheless, though the insurrection was so speedily at an end martial law was maintained, and the 
iniquitous Assembly (happily near extinction) passed repeated Acts interfering with the liberty of the 
subject, and authorising the local authorities to flog for almost every offence in the calendar, while other 
legislation attempted to interfere with the freedom of religion. 



which had fallen from the Governor at Morant Bay, he, Gordon, would be held 
answerable for the circumstances of the riot, nevertheless refused to go away or 
to hide himself, saying that to do so would look as though he was guilty. 
Hearing that the warrant was issued, he actually proceeded alone to the office 
of the commander of the troops and gave himself up. He was placed under 
arrest by the Governor in person, even though the city of Kingston had been 
specially exempted from the operation of martial law. Eyre then took his 


Note the policeman, whom the author found subsequently to be a most 
intelligent civil-spoken guide 

captive on a steamer to Morant Bay and committed him to the custody of a 
man who was to become notorious for cruelty, Provost-Marshal Gordon Duberry 
Ramsay. 1 The Governor had from the moment of the arrest prohibited all 
access to Gordon. He was not even allowed to receive a letter from his solicitor 
advising him as to the line of defence he should take up. This letter was read 
and destroyed by Brigadier-General Nelson, in command at Morant Bay. Here 
General Nelson formed a court-martial composed of two young lieutenants of the 
Royal Navy and a young ensign of the 4th battalion, West India Regiment. It 
assembled at two o'clock on Saturday the 21st, and "care was taken to exclude all 

1 Ramsay had fought bravely as a soldier in the Crimea and had won the Victoria Cross. 


persons friendly to the prisoner." The whole description of the trial, as subse- 
quently published by the Royal Commissioners, is on a par with the worst 
doings of the revolutionary tribunals in Paris during the reign of terror. Five 
witnesses were put forward by the prosecution, and the Provost-Marshal Ramsay 
" taught them their evidence with a rope round their necks and giving them a 
lash with a whip in between every sentence to enforce their false evidence on 
their minds." 1 Even though most of these wretched witnesses were under 
sentence of death and might have hoped to save their miserable lives by their 
perjury, yet no fragment of recorded evidence could be brought forward to 
implicate Gordon with this abortive rising. He was actually prevented from 
calling any witnesses on his own account. After being allowed for an hour to 
speak in his own defence, in which he resolutely pleaded " Not Guilty," the 
Court adjourned for a brief interval of deliberation. It then reassembled to 
pronounce Gordon guilty and to sentence him to death. 

The finding of the Court and its sentence were at once referred through 
General Nelson to Governor Eyre for confirmation. The Governor lost no time 
in writing that he quite concurred in the justice of the sentence and the necessity 
of carrying it into effect. Gordon was forthwith hung (October 23rd, 1865), by 
two or three sailors, from the centre of the ruined arch of the Court House at 
Morant Bay. It is difficult to read unmoved the letter which he wrote to his 
wife a few minutes before his judicial murder took place, a murder entirely and 
absolutely the work of Edward John Eyre, Captain-General and Governor of 

Any one wishing to revel in horrors, or, let us say, to appreciate how 
wicked white men can be, as well as black, should read the many documents 
collected and published in the Blue Books of 1866 regarding what went on in 
Jamaica between the 7th October, 1865, and the cessation of Eyre's reign of 
terror by the arrival of a Royal Commission on January 6th, 1866. 2 

It is sufficient to say, in conclusion, that it is one of the few really shocking 
episodes in the recent history of the British Empire. Before the Commission, 
however, could be appointed and got to work, Eyre did two things which saved 
him possibly from a criminal sentence. In the first place, he caused the House 
of Assembly to pass on his behalf an Act of Indemnity; and in the second 
place he induced this corrupt Legislature to pronounce its own demise, to 
surrender the Constitution granted by Oliver Cromwell, and make it easy for 
the Government of Queen Victoria to deal with Jamaica unfettered by any 
local privileges. 

The evidence collected by the Royal Commission and its report on that 
evidence were inevitably so damaging to Governor Eyre that a strong feeling 
was created in England, and attempts were made to punish Eyre, at any rate 
for the judicial murder of George VVilliam Gordon, if not in a general way for 
the atrocities committed without reproof on his part by such agents of the 
Government as Provost-Marshal Ramsay. But the British Government of 
the day contented itself with merely dismissing Mr. Eyre from his post and 
from all future employment in the civil service of the Crown, though acknow- 
ledging at the same time the obligation of the Government towards him " for 
effecting an entire change in the system of the government in operation in 
Jamaica." Mr. Eyre retired, I believe, on a pension. A private prosecution 

1 Dr. Underhill. 

2 Sir Henry Storks was appointed the head of this Royal Commission and also Governor of Jamaica, 
to supersede Mr. Edward John Eyre. 



was subsequently instituted in the county of his residence (Shropshire) by a 
member of the Jamaica Committee, but the bench of magistrates dismissed 
the case. Similarly abortive was the attempt to bring to justice Brigadier- 
General Nelson and Lieutenant-Commander Brand, who had respectively 
created and presided over Gordon's court-martial, though it must be admitted 
that in their case they did not bear the entire responsibility, since they sub- 
mitted the verdict and sentence of their court to the consideration of the 
Governor, who confirmed it. Provost-Marshal G. D. Ramsay, who shot several 
harmless, innocent negroes with his 
own hand in time of peace, who hanged 
others without trial, who whipped and 
abused witnesses, who flogged with 
frenzy till the flesh of his victims 
bespattered the ground, was tried for 
murder in Jamaica and acquitted by a 
white Grand Jury. 

If bare justice had been dealt 
out without consideration of race or 
colour, there is little doubt that 
Governor Edward John Eyre would 
have been adjudged guilty of the 
manslaughter of George William Gor- 
don, and have had to suffer a term 
of penal servitude. He is dead now, 
and, if there be a life beyond the 
grave, has perhaps made his amends 
to the many who suffered so cruelly 
through his wild, unbalanced delega- 
tion of the power of life and death ; 
and some of my fellow-countrymen 
who read this book may think my 
raking up the ashes of this old 
tragedy a piece of wanton mischief- 
making [though they may probably 
approve with hearty acquiescence the 
denunciation of French crimes in 
Haiti, or the frightful cruelties per- 
petrated on the negro in the United 
States]. But in reading all the volu- 
minous mass of official and private literature concerning Jamaica between 
1850 and 1866, one feels it scarcely a sufficient comment to dismiss the 
deeds of the House of Assembly, of Governor Eyre, and above all of Provost- 
Marshal G. D. Ramsay and other subordinates, as " regrettable incidents," and 
to ask that bygones may be bygones. If such episodes of bad government 
are lightly glossed over in any history of the past, it is an encouragement for 
their recurrence in the future whenever a Government or an individual falls 
into a state of unreasoning panic, supervening on a long and stupid denial 
of justice or abuse of privilege. 

In 1866 Jamaica became a Crown Colony without elective government. A 
new semi-military police on the lines of the Royal Irish Constabulary was set 
on foot at the close of 1866, and has proved in course of time to be the best 




and most efficient police force in America south of the Canadian border. It is 
composed entirely of negroes, except in regard to officers, and these are mostly 
selected from the Royal Irish Constabulary. 1 

Yet during the Dismal Period of Jamaica's history — from 1838 to 1868 — a 
period in which the sugar industry was wellnigh killed, in which there were 
visitations of cholera and yellow fever, the usual allowance of storms and 
hurricanes, toll-bar riots, and State bankruptcy, there was really a steady 
advance towards material and mental improvement on the part of the negroes 
and mulattoes. Especially remarkable throughout the island was the work of 
the Baptist and Presbyterian ministers and missionaries, and this led to Jamaica 
actually having some effect on the subsequent history of West Africa. A 
movement was begun in 1838-40 under the auspices of the Baptist Missionary 
Society of Great Britain for the transference to Africa of such Jamaica negroes 
and mulattoes as might be discontented with their lot in the West Indies. 
Something of the kind also was attempted by the United Presbyterian Church 
Missionary Society (commencing in Jamaica), which founded the potent 
mission stations of the Old Calabar and Cross River district. As the result of 
this work (and similar institutions at Sierra Leone under the Church Missionary 
Society) not a few Jamaicans — negroes and mulattoes, men and women — 
embarked for West Africa between 1840 and 1870. To Sierra Leone, Liberia, 
Old Calabar, Fernando P6, and the Cameroons they brought some degree of 
civilisation not to be overlooked in describing the history of that period in 
West Africa. They introduced the bread-fruit tree, West Indian cultivated 
bananas, West Indian oranges, guavas, bamboos, cacao, and other useful shrubs 
and plants. They founded (practically) the present agricultural prosperity of 
Fernando P6, where some of their descendants still remain. 

In 1868 came the first suggestion — unrecognised at the time — of a brighter 
era dawning in Jamaica. In that year the captain of a small American steamer 
had taken a cargo from New Orleans to Port Antonio (Jamaica), and not 
wishing to go back empty, filled up his ship with bananas. He found a ready 
market for this fruit in the Southern States, and thus began the fruit trade of 
Jamaica, which is now atoning for the slump in sugar and coffee (though these 
latter exports are reviving), and bids fair, with the cultivation of cacao, the 
breeding of cattle and horses, and the cultivation generally of tropical pro- 
ducts (together with the exploitation of some of the loveliest tropical scenery 
in the world), not only to revive the fortunes of Jamaica but to make that 
island wealthy and prosperous as it has never yet been in its past history. 

In 1884 a considerable measure of elective government was restored to the 
country. Nine of the members of the Legislative Council of Jamaica were to 
be elected on a low property and literacy franchise, which was to be distributed 
without distinction of race or colour. Provision was however made for securing 
a very positive official majority in case of need. 

The political constitution of Jamaica, as finally shaped by the law of 1886 
and the Order-in-Council of 1895, consists of a Governor, a Privy Council, and 

1 This constabulary is a credit both to the race which supplies the raw material and to that which 
furnishes the officers. The uniform is very like that of the Royal Irish Constabulary, on which, indeed, 
the whole force is modelled, while most of the officers are drawn from Ireland. The urban police wear 
a white helmet and a different, perhaps less soldierly-looking, uniform, but they resemble their comrades 
of the rural district in politeness and efficiency. I formed a high opinion of the negro constabulary 
throughout all those portions of the British West Indies which I personally visited. Its efficiency and 
good behaviour have enabled us to withdraw the greater part of the white troops who were formerly 
maintained in Jamaica and other islands at such a severe cost in money and health. 




a Legislative Council. The Privy Council consists of the senior military officer 
in the island, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney-General, and eight other 
persons (or less) nominated by the Sovereign (these councillors are usually pro- 
visionally appointed by the Governor, and the appointment is then submitted 
to the approval of the King). The tenure of office of the Privy Councillors 
appointed by the King is limited to five years. The Governor of the island, 
however, though he is required ordinarily to consult with the Privy Councillors, 
is nevertheless authorised to act without such consultation or to act in opposi- 
tion to their advice and decision if he deems his independence of action neces- 
sary for the welfare of Jamaica or of the Empire ; but, of course, in taking such 

Note the telephone wire running past the house, ugly but practical 

a step he must satisfy the Secretary of State for the Colonies that he was right 
in doing so. 

After the Privy Council, which is a kind of Ministry and Senate in one, 
comes the Legislative Council, which is presided over by the Governor, and con- 
tains five ex-officio members, ten who are nominated by the Crown (or provision- 
ally appointed by the Governor), and fourteen elected members. The President 
(the Governor) has no deliberative vote, but only a casting vote. But assuming 
that the ten nominated members vote with the five ex-officio councillors, there 
is already a majority of one over the elected members. 

But the votes of the ex-officio and nominated members of the Council may 
not be recorded in support of any law, vote, or resolution imposing any new 
tax or appropriating any public revenue, if not less than nine of the elected 
members have voted against any such law, vote, or resolution, or unless the 
Governor declares his opinion that the passing of such law, vote, or resolution 
is of paramount importance to the public interest, and this provision applies to 


any other measure or law discussed by the Legislative Council where the whole 
of the fourteen members cast their votes unanimously in one or other direction, 
that is to say, they may not be opposed by the official vote unless the Governor 
compels them to any such opposition by the declaration of his opinion. The 
Governor has also the right to veto legislation (by refusing his assent to a Bill) 
which would affect the Imperial position of Jamaica, Imperial regulations 
regarding marriage and divorce, commercial treaties with other Powers, the 
equal rights of all the inhabitants of Jamaica, without distinction of race or 

The qualifications of an elected member of the Legislative Council are that 
he shall possess the franchise, and that he shall not be holding any office of 
emolument under the Crown or Government of Jamaica, and that he shall 
either have resided in the electoral district for at least twelve months preceding 
the day of election, or be in possession of an income of at least £150 (in his 
own right or that of his wife) arising from land belonging to him or to her 
within the electoral district, or of a minimum of £200 arising partly from land 
and partly from any other source or business, or of a minimum of £300 annually 
accruing from any source whatever, or being able to show that he pays annually 
in direct taxes or export duty at least £10 per annum. 

The franchise qualifications are limited to male persons of over twenty-one 
years of age, not legally incapacitated ; British subjects by birth or naturalisa- 
tion ; and householders and ratepayers to the extent of the poor-rates and tax- 
payers of at least 10s. per annum, or parish taxpayers of at least 30s. per annum, 
or else in receipt of an annual salary of at least £^0 ; provided that no person 
shall be registered as a voter who has been in prison with hard labour or for 
more than twelve months, or has been recently in receipt of public or parish 
relief. [The former condition of being able to write has been abolished.] 

Nevertheless, in the returns of 1906 there were only 8607 registered voters 
in the whole of Jamaica out of a total population then standing at 820,437. 
The number of registered voters in 1901 was 16,256. It would really seem as 
though, having the right to vote by law, the Negro population of Jamaica was 
content with that assurance and did not care to register as voters. 

On the Legislative Council of to-day only four of the elected members are 
of unmixed Nordic-European descent ; four are of well-known Jamaican- 
Jewisli families descended from the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of Guiana 
and Brazil; 1 one member is an absolute negro (of Bahaman birth), and the 
remainder {five) are octoroons and mulattoes of Jamaican birth. 

As regards religion, the Roman Catholic Church, since i860, has been 
gathering a large following in Jamaica, and has thirty-one or more churches in 
the island ; but its work lies more among the whites and half-castes than 
the negroes. It also has under its charge about nine thousand Catholics 
from Cuba and Haiti. The Church of England is not only holding its own, 
but has had a marked increase of influence under the energetic administration 
of the present Bishop of Jamaica (Archbishop of the West Indies), whose views, 
teaching, and attitude toward the negro question are all that a practical 

1 This is the reason why at the present day not only are Spanish and Portuguese name; very common 
amongst the apparently white and English inhabitants of Jamaica (chiefly along the south coast), but 
why not a few rather handsome Moorish-looking negroes (recalling sometimes with strange vividness the 
luxuriant-bearded, prominent-nosed, full-eyed Assyrians of 3000 B.C. ) equally bear high-sounding Spanish 
names. The Jews, since the beginning of the seventeenth century, have played a most important part 
in the development of the British, French, Dutch, and Danish West Indies. 



philanthropist could desire. 1 The Presbyterians are strongly represented in 
Jamaica, and among the other Free Churches the Baptists occupy a deservedly 
prominent position, and have become an essentially native Church — that is 
to say, they have few, if any, white pastors ; whereas the clergy of the Anglican 
Church are all white men and nearly all of them from the United Kingdom. 
The Congregationalists (London Missionary Society), Wesleyans, Methodists, 
and "Quakers" (Society of Friends), and the Moravians are all strongly 
represented in Jamaica and have played a notable part in the education of the 
negro. There should also be mentioned the admirable work of the " Church 
of the Disciples of Christ," which has ten teaching districts and twenty-three 
churches in Jamaica. Since the days of emancipation many wild sects have 

fks ■ 


arisen amongst the negro Christians of Jamaica, the beliefs advanced by these 
being often unconsciously a recurrence to African superstitions. The most 
prominent of these local sects at the present day is that of the Bedwardite 
Baptists. 2 

This movement was started by a tinsmith named Bedward, whose wife 
kept a bakery in the suburbs of wide-spreading Kingston. Bedward some 
twenty years ago started the idea that he had special power in baptism and was 
to be regarded as a prophet. Water, after being blessed by him, had the power 
of curing all diseases, moral as well as physical. 

His preposterous claims were (as occurs in the history of all new religions) 
supported by a few coincidences and genuine occurrences of faith cure, and he 
soon built up a considerable following. Once a month he is said to hold 

1 Archbishop Nuttall has been parish priest, Bishop, and Archbishop in Jamaica from about 1865 
to the present day; Bishop since 1S80. Ut floreat ! He has written a remarkable essay, "The 
Characteristics of the Negro," in Mankind and the Church (Longmans: 1907). 

2 For further details regarding the Bedwardites see Mr. Ralph Hall-Caine's book The Cruise pf the 
"Port Ki7igston," p. 97. 



a baptismal ceremony at a place on the Hope River about ten miles from 
the capital. Bottles of his blessed water are sold at a shilling each, and 
at each of his monthly functions his wife prepares a meal for those who 

Apparently the sum of one shilling covers the cost of the baptism and the 
picnic feast, and the small profit on this enterprise, together with the less 
defensible sale of the magic water, constitute Bedvvard's gains out of his trade 
as Prophet. How far it is wholesome or sanitary for hundreds of negroes and 
negresses to be immersed at the same time in a pool which gradually becomes 
of very filthy water I cannot say ; these " communions " are perhaps insanitary 

in their results. But if the local 
government at the present time were 
to intervene and forcibly put down 
Bedvvard's movement it would in- 
crease his sect to a gigantic following. 
This and other foolish superstitions 
are best left to be dissipated by the 
spread of education. 

At the present day only about 
one-quarter of the total coloured 
population of Jamaica can read and 
write. In literacy the Jamaica negro 
is much behind his brother in British 
Guiana, Trinidad, Barbados, and the 
United States. Education, though 
free (and somewhat generously as- 
sisted by Government grants and 
splendid philanthropic institutions), 
is not, as it ought to be, compulsory x 
or sufficiently practical in relation to 
Jamaican needs. But more attention 
is being given now (since 1900) to the 
teaching of Agriculture, Horticulture, 
Bee-keeping, Poultry-rearing, etc. 

Prior to 1834 there was practically 
no education given to negroes, except 

• aMi 



a pragmatical and useless oral disquisition on the religion which the White man 
so unctuously preached and so flagrantly malpractised in his dealings with the 
Black. Indeed, as late as 1823 it was forbidden to teach slaves to read or 
write. Money was frequently bequeathed by repentant Christians in the island 
for the instruction of the children of freed slaves, but it was generally em- 
bezzled for some other purpose. The Moravian Brethren did what they could, 
especially after 1823, but it was not till Emancipation year (1834) that the 
flood-gates of education were really thrown open. 2 

In that year the first Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton did a smart stroke 

1 By the law of 1892 the Governor is empowered to declare elementary education compulsory, but no 
Governor has yet done so. 

" From 183810 1843 the British Parliament made a special education grant to Tamaica (for teaching 
negroes) of ,£30,000 per annum ; and from 1843 t0 ^48 of about .£15,000 per annum. But this generous 
provision was misapplied by the wicked and corrupt House of Assembly. Sir John Peter Grant was the 
first Governor of Jamaica who in 1866-7 to °k anv active interest in education. 



of business. He discovered the dormant "Lady Mico Charity" trust, and 
induced the Government of the day to authorise the diversion of these locked- 
up funds from the purpose for which they had been bequeathed and, supple- 
mented by a Treasury grant of £17,000 a year for five years, their application 
at once to the " promotion of education among the black and coloured popula- 
lation of British Guiana and the West Indies." 

How he snatched this prize out of the clutches of the Court of Chancery or 
of the Trustees of Lady Mico's bequest it is difficult to understand. 

Dame Jane Mico was the widow of Sir Samuel Mico of the Mercers' 
Company in London. She died in 1666, and bequeathed a sum of one thousand 
pounds in trust, the interest on which was to be applied " to the redemption 
of poor Christian slaves in Barbary." Apparently it was not so applied, or 
British slaves in Algeria, Tunis, and Morocco had become scarce. At any 


rate, the original thousand pounds and its interest went on increasing 
automatically for a hundred and fifty years, until eventually the Chartered 
charity established by the British Government at the instance of Fowell 
Buxton had £120,000 to deal with in its educational enterprise in the West 
Indies and British Guiana. Jamaica has been the principal seat of the Mico 
Charity's educational work and is now its sole sphere ; its schools in the 
Leeward and Windward Islands, Bahamas, British Guiana, Trinidad, and 
the archipelagos of the Indian Ocean having been made over to local educa- 
tional systems. 1 

In 1892 the Legislative Council of Jamaica began its first effective measures 
to assist and enforce education, especially amongst the negro and coloured nine- 
tenths of the population. The number of scholars throughout the island rose 
in 1895 to the respectable total of 104,149 ; after that there was a falling off. 
But the worst blows to education in Jamaica were dealt by the Devil of un- 
conquered and reactionary Nature, the Devil which is outside as well as inside 

1 Though the part these Mico schools have played in the early education of the Negro in Guiana, 
Barbados, and Trinidad should not be forgotten, for they were the first pioneers of sound, undenomi- 
national education in those regions. 


poor struggling, martyred, yet undefeated Humanity. In 1903 there came 
a cyclone which blew down a number of the newly constructed schools. In 
1907 the Kingston earthquake destroyed completely the new training-college of 
the Mico Charity outside Kingston — a building which had just cost £12,000. 
The floods of the autumn of 1909 have destroyed many other school buildings. 
Prior to this last disaster there were about 690 schools and colleges in Jamaica 
with an approximate attendance of 50,000 scholars. 1 

A notable personality during the past fifteen years in furthering elementary 
and secondary education in Jamaica has been the Most Rev. Enos Nuttall, 
Archbishop of the West Indies, to whom I have already referred. 

The total population of Jamaica for the year 1908 was approximately 
840,500. Deducting the 15,000 pure whites (in round numbers) and the 13,800 
East Indians and about 700 Chinese (29,500 non-negro people) we are left with 
a total of 811,000 negroes and negroids as the main element of the Jamaican 
population at the present day. From this total, to arrive at the number of 
pure blacks one must deduct approximately 157,500 negroids — ranging from 
brown mulattoes or half-castes to octoroons (counting the " near-whites " as 
whites) — and there remain about 654,000 people of unmixed negro stock in 

The conjectured increase in the whites between 1891 and 1908 is ascribed more 
to the immigration of British and Americans for business purposes (and a termin- 
able stay) than to actual colonisation. Yet the resident whites look healthy 
and vigorous, and to judge from what one sees at " going-to-school " hours in 
the suburbs of Kingston, Port Antonio, St. Ann's, and the inland and western 
towns, there seems to be plenty of young white Jamaicans growing up likely 
in body and mind to be creditable examples of the white race. 2 The white 
birth-rate, however, seems to be small, partly owing to the large proportion of 
bachelors among the whites and the tendency of white women in the tropics 
to bear fewer children. Nevertheless, with our increasing mastery over tropical 
diseases there is no reason why a white population of at least half a million 
should not grow up alongside a negroid race of four millions in a perfectly 
cultivated Jamaica, provided the whites were allotted land in the central, cool, 
mountainous part of the island : such as the delightful country between the 
Blue Mountains in the east and the Nassau Mountains in the west, of which 
the Moneague district is an example. 

The birth-rate among the negroes is about 38 per 1000, that of the 
" coloured " people a little lower. The death-rate for 1907 was about 26 per 1000. 
There is at the present time an annual surplus of births over deaths of 10,000. 

1 Most of the school buildings I visited seemed to me large, commodious, clean, and in good repair, 
and the instruction which was being given by coloured masters or mistresses was at least tolerably good. 
Some of these teachers are half-castes, and are quite as efficient as the ordinary school teacher of a 
country town or village in England. But, of course, the curriculum contains far too large a share of the 
Old Testament and of history and geography much more suited to the British Isles than to the centre of 
the West Indies. Industrial and agricultural education for the mass of the negro population lags much 
behind that which is offered to all and sundry in the United States ; and this is probably why so many 
ambitious young Jamaicans go to Tuskegee for their higher education. Amongst educational factors of 
importance in Jamaica, however, should certainly be mentioned the Hope Botanical Gardens, and all the 
instruction in botany and horticulture which radiates therefrom and from theCastleton Hill Gardens ; and 
secondly, the Institute of Jamaica, with its museum and its excellent public library of nearly 12,000 
volumes, so readily and pleasantly accessible under Mr. Frank Cundall's direction. 

2 The proportion of Jamaicans (of Anglo-Saxon race) in the Civil Service of the Crown (England and 
Colonies), in the Church, the Army, Medicine, and other careers is quite remarkable. Sir E. Maunde 
Thompson, who has just retired from the control of the British Museum, is a Jamaican by birth. 

Tree fern in lorecround 



2 7S 


A type of negress often seen in Jamaica 

But the birth-rate is slowly diminishing and the death-rate among negroes 

slightly increasing. 

All over America it is said that where the negroes have long settled down 

as a free people, living under natural con- 
ditions, there is a preponderance of female 

births over male. This is certainly so in 

Jamaica, wherein the female population 

among negroes and negroids is about 23,000 

in excess of the other sex. In the extreme 

west of Jamaica the proportion of men to 

women is as fifty to a hundred. This dis- 
proportion of the sexes does not conduce to 

morality. No negress could bear the idea of 

growing to old age without being a mother : 

she would deem herself slighted. Therefore 

the negro and mulatto men are much run 

after ; the marriage rate is not only low, but 

tends to decrease (it is just now about 3*8 

per 1000 persons), and with its decrease rises 

the percentage of illegitimate births, which 

now stands at the figure of sixty-five children 

out of every hundred (year 1906). The absence 

of the marriage contract matters less than 

might bs supposed ; because the spouses in 

this mere concubinage are just as faithful to one another as those that get 

married before priest or registrar and, if they are not happy, get a divorce or 

separate without one. But the really serious feature 
in irregularity of sexual union is the effect it has 
on infant mortality. " Lightly come, lightly go " : 
the child born of concubinage is treated (usually) 
with far more neglect than the legitimate offspring. 
In either case the mortality amongst young negro 
children in Jamaica is large. Out of the last record 
of deaths — 21,732 in 1907 — over 14,000 were the 
deaths of children under five years of age; but it 
has been found that in Kingston during 1907 the 
ratio of deaths among young children was sixteen 
legitimate to twenty-six illegitimate. Mr. Ralph 
Hall Caine, from whose work 1 I have taken some 
of these figures, further points out that nearly eighty 
per cent of the infants' or children's deaths (among 
the negroes and negroids) are registered without the 
certificate of a qualified doctor. 

The Jamaican negro was recruited entirely from 
West Africa. The Maroons probably came from 

Guinea (the rivers between the Gambia and Sierra Leone) and the Gold 

Coast ; the Koromantis likewise from the Gold Coast ; z then there was a 

1 The Cruise of the '''■Port Kingston,''' Messrs. Collier, London, 1908 (one of the best books written on 

2 Koromantin was the first and greatest of the British slave-trade depots on the Gold Coast. It was 
situated about sixteen miles to the east of Cape Coast Castle. See page 207. 

Either the larger proportion of the slaves was drawn from the Gold Coast, where the principal 




The Moshi people, of rather high civili- 
sation, have some distant kinship 
with Benin 



large importation from the Congo and Angola, the Calabar district (Mokos), 
the Niger Delta (Ibos), and some thousands from Lagos (Akus), Yoruba 
(Xagos), and Dahome (Pop5s). Several hundred Mandingos from Sene- 
gambia, and perhaps an occasional Fula or Moor leavened the lump and 
imparted to some of the negro types handsome features and a clearer bronze 
or copper tint to the skin. Good living, civilisation, and a steady increase of 


A negro chieftain of the borders of Togoland, belonging to the Popu or Dahomean group of 
West African peoples. His forefathers sold many Popo slaves to the Portuguese, British, 
and Danes 

refinement in life have given to some of the negro men and women of the towns 
a refinement of feature and a beauty of figure which is not always revealed by 

slave-trading depots of the British were established between 16S0 and 1807, or this ethnic type (Fanti, 
Ashanti, and their kindred) prevailed over the others. This is shown by the greater part of Jamaican 
folklore being traceable to the Gold Coast and its hinterland, and to the fact that the fragments of 
African speech still lingering in the Negro-English dialect of Jamaica are derived from the Chwi language 
of Ashanti-Fanti. The popular "Nancy" stories are so called for their taking "Anansi," the spider, 
as the chief figure. Anansi=spidex in Ashanti. See the valuable work by Mr. Walter }tVy\\, Jamaican 
Song and Story (London, 1906). 



the clumsy clothes or the unnecessary skirts which they may wear. Mr. Ralph 
Hall Caine, in his work The Cruise of the " Port Kingston" describes so aptly 
the young woman of this race brought up under favourable surroundings, that 
I cannot do better than quote his words : — 

" At sixteen years of age she is a perfect example of the physical woman, 
and nowhere in the whole of the wide world can she be excelled in beauty of 
form and grace of carriage. Hard labour in field and mill, and in the inter- 
minable task of keeping her skin, no less than her clothes, in a state of im- 
maculate cleanliness, has given to each muscle that sufficiency of exercise 
which shall reveal its presence in all suppleness, smoothness, and grace of 
outline, while the soft shiny skin, as the natural reflex of her food, is a match- 
less picture of healthful functional activity. Her teeth are pearly white, with 
a cleanness and a perfection of regular 
moulding that is the happy legacy of an 
unstinted appetite for gnawing at the close 
sinewy fibre of the sugar cane. Her head 
is poised with that nice accuracy which has 
been gained by balancing loads, heavy but 
within her strength. Her neck is neither 
long nor short, nor fat, nor lean, but 
shoulders, neck, and chest are all reve- 
lations of the woman who is leading a 
life close to primitive nature, clothed in 
fulness of flesh that shall show no ugly 
Adam's apple, or protruding clavicle, while 
the breasts are firm and full without a trace 
of that elongation that is at once her own 
pride and our despair." 

But amongst the peasantry the men are 
ordinarily better looking than the women ; 
and it must be admitted that some of both 
sexes display negro features of the coarsest 
and ugliest type, while their dress is neither 
so tidy nor so picturesque as that of the 
Cubans or even the Haitians. 

Educated men and women of this race 
dress as nearly as possible like the white people of Jamaica, smartly and 
becomingly. 1 

As regards the " Colour Question " in Jamaica I should like to quote some 
passages from Sir Sydney Olivier's volume in the Socialist Library, White 
Capital and Coloured Labour (Sir Sydney has been for some years Acting- 
Governor and is now Governor of Jamaica) : — 

In Jamaica there is beyond question an aversion on the part of white Creoles to 
intermarriage with coloured families, and this aversion may be relied on, at any rate 
for a long time to come, to check any such obliteration of race distinctions as is fore- 
boded by negrophobists in the United States as the necessary result of the admission 
of social equality. 

In the lower social ranks of employees in stores, mixed marriages between wholly 
white and coloured people may frequently be met with. 

1 Mr. John Henderson and Mr. A. Forrest give in their book on Jamaica (Messrs. A. and C. Black, 
1906) excellent descriptions of well-dressed Jamaicans. 




The effects of a first cross between black and white are no doubt constitutionally 
disturbing, and many persons of mixed origin are of poor physique, but the phthisis 
and other diseases from which they suffer are equally common amongst the West Indian 
population of apparently pure African blood, and arise among these from the over- 
crowding of dwellings, bad nutrition, insanitary habits, and other preventable causes. 
There may naturally be aversion and a strong social objection on the part of the white 
woman against her marriage with a black or coloured man. There is no correspondingly 
strong instinctive aversion, nor is there so strong an ostensible social objection to a 
white man's marrying a woman of mixed descent. The latter kind of union is much 
more likely to occur than the former. There is good physiological reason for this 
distinction. Whatever the potentialities of the African stocks as a vehicle for human 
manifestation — and I myself believe them to be, like those of the Russian people, 
exceedingly important and valuable — a matrix of emotional and spiritual energies that 
have yet to find their human expression in suitably adapted forms — the white races are 
now, in fact, by far the further advanced in effectual human development, and it would 
be expedient on this account alone that their maternity should be economised to the 
utmost. A woman may be the mother of a limited number of children, and our notion 
of the number advisable is contracting ; it is bad natural economy, and instinct very 
potently opposes it, to breed backwards from her. There is no such rea'son against 
the begetting of children by white men in countries where, if they are to breed at all, 
it must be with women of coloured or mixed race. The offspring of such breeding, 
whether legitimate or illegitimate, is, from the point of view of efficiency, an acquisition 
to the community, and, under favourable conditions, an advance on the pure-bred 
African. For notwithstanding all that it may be possible to adduce in justification of 
that prejudice against the mixed race, of which I have spoken, and which I have myself 
fully shared, I am convinced that this class as it at present exists is a valuable and 
indispensable part of any West Indian community, and that a colony of black, coloured, 
and whites has far more organic efficiency and far more promise in it than a colony of 
black and white alone. A community of white and black alone is in far greater danger 
of remaining, so far as the unofficial classes are concerned, a community of employers 
and serfs, concessionnaires and tributaries, with, at best, a bureaucracy to keep the peace 
between them. The graded mixed class in Jamaica helps to make an organic whole 
of the community and saves it from this distinct cleavage. 

A very significant light is thrown on the psychology of colour prejudice in mixed 
communities by the fact that, in the whites, it is stronger against the coloured than 
against the black. I believe this is chiefly because the coloured intermediate class do 
form such a bridge as I have described, and undermine, or threaten to undermine, the 
economic and. social ascendancy of the white, hitherto the dominant aristocracy of these 
communities. This jealousy or indignation is much more pungent than the alleged 
natural instinct of racial-aversion. 

It is interesting to note in Jamaica (as in the United States) how the cross 
between Nordic White and Negro endows the half-breed so frequently with 
yellow or red hair and blue-grey eyes : though the texture of the hair may be 
woolly and the complexion brown. 

Since 1866 and the new order of things which followed the Storks Commis- 
sion and the governorship of Sir John Peter Grant, the criminality of the 
Jamaican negroes and negroids has been slight. That is to say, as regards any 
crime of a serious nature. Unfortunately, as elsewhere in the Negro world, the 
peasants are dishonest in very small things ; in petty thieving which books of 
reference refer to portentously as'"Praedial larceny" — the stealing from one 
another (mostly) and from white people of poultry, fruit, vegetables, etc. In 
twelve months of 1907-8 there were 12,118 summary convictions (but this 
record refers also to low-class Europeans and East Indians) for theft, bad 


language, drunkenness (the negro is not so nearly cured from the alcohol habit 
in Jamaica as he is in the U.S.A.), common assaults, and other minor breaches 
of the law. In the same period there were 7290 convictions for serious crimes. 
On an average day in 1908 there were 1695 prisoners in jail, about 1500 of 
whom were negroes or negroids. 

Indecent assaults by negroes on negro women or children are not un- 
common, a little more common, possibly, than they are among people of the 
same social status in England and in some Scotch towns. 1 But it is scarcely 
too sweeping an assertion to say that there has been no case in Jamaica or any 
other British West India island of rape, or indecent assault or annoyance on 
the part of a black man or mulatto against a white woman since the Emancipa- 
tion of the Slaves. Sir Sydney Olivier, reviewing this topic as regards Jamaica, 
says with truth : " A young white woman can walk alone in the hills or about 
Kingston, in daylight or dark, through populous settlements of exclusively 
black or coloured folk, without encountering anything but friendly salutation 
from man or woman. Single ladies may hire a carriage and drive all over the 
island without trouble or molestation. . . . Whatever may be the cause, it is an 
indisputable fact that Jamaica, or any other West India island, is as safe for 
white women to go about in, if not safer than, any European country with 
which I am acquainted." The same statement might be applied with equal 
truth to all parts of Negro Africa. 

. Perspnally I found with one exception all classes and all colours in Jamaica 
exceptionally civil and obliging to the stranger : even a stranger like myself 
who was (with the best intentions) prying into back yards, photographing 
many things and many human types, and often in too much of a hurry to request 
permission or explain the motive. It was a real pleasure to ask the way or the 
name of a plant, bird, estate, or village because of the politeness of the response. 
The exception was in the case of the Maroons of north-eastern Jamaica, whom 
I found insolent and disobliging, and inclined to levy blackmail on any one 
who passed through their villages or plantations and wished to photograph the 

I should say [so far as I can judge by one visit to Jamaica, by conversation 
with many Jamaican negroes and mulattoes, and by a study of the local Press 
and contemporary literature] that at the present day there is no people more 
loyal to the British Crown and Empire than the coloured Jamaicans. Gradually 
the old evil effects of slavery and forced labour have died out. The kuli and 
the Chinaman have inspired the lower classes of negroes with a desire to work,. 
to amass money, to acquire land, to live in better houses and in better style- 
Education spreading yearly amongst the coloured people, especially those with 
an element of the Caucasian, has suggested to them careers in and outside of 
Jamaica, comforts, luxuries, and delights to be obtained through work of some 
kind or another. The Jamaican negro, in fact, has become almost an apostle of 
work in revivifying Central America. By thousands — almost hundreds of 
thousands — he has gone to labour on the Panama Canal from the time of its 
inception by De Lesseps to its resumption by the Americans. If you hear of 
a particularly enterprising negro in Haiti he is sure to be a Jamaican. 

1 In Sussex, for example, and in many parts of Hampshire, it is dangerous for a young woman to walk 
alone on the downs or in woods. She would run a great risk of being assaulted indecently by tramps, 
i; masterless men," and those strange monsters that haunt the precincts of pleasure cities or garrison 
towns. One hears little of these cases because, as in George Moore's story in Celibates, the assaulted 
woman strives in horror and shame to keep the dreadful incident a secret. 

2 8o 


Jamaican pastors, teachers, and preachers are bringing the negroes of Cuba into 
the fold of the Protestant churches. Jamaicans also come over to Africa and 
work there with excellent results. 

The negroid in this island enters into all the professions and careers and 
fills nine-tenths of the posts under Government. The coloured population, 
besides residing as cultivators in the country, frequents the towns and earns 
a living as doctors, dentists, ministers of religion, teachers, waiters, tradesmen, 
skilled artisans, clerks, musicians, postal employes, press reporters, 1 the superior 
servants of the State railways, overseers of plantations, hotel-keepers (and very 
good ones) ; in fact, they fill all the posts required in a civilised community 
(and Jamaica has tons les agrements de la vie) which are below the white man's 
high standard of salary and above the grasp of the, as yet, uneducated negro. 
The pure negro in Jamaica is mainly a peasant and a countryman. It is 
computed that there are 700,000 negro and negroid Jamaicans — men, women, 


and children — who live on the land, in the proportion of about 620,000 blacks 
to 80,000 half-castes. 

Out of the 1 1 3,000 holdings of property on the Valuation Roll of the Island 
in 1905, 91,260 were below £40 in value and belonged to the black peasantry. 
The acreage of these holdings varied from less than an acre to a hundred acres. 
(Sir Sydney Olivier). 

The Jamaican peasant for the most part is a freeholder with no superior land- 
lord above him. He has squatted on virgin land and gradually obtained it in 
fee simple ; he has purchased land or been given land. It is complained, indeed, 
that in many directions he has been too leniently dealt with, in that he has 
acquired (mainly by squatting) nearly three-quarters of the cultivable area 
of Jamaica ; and this he has cultivated most wastefully on African methods, 
has destroyed the forest by fire, practised no alternation of crops or system 
of manuring. He is, I can add on my own observation, a merciless gunner, 
shooting for the sale of the plumage or for food every bird within his reach. So 

1 The press of the island, which is quite as good as the good provincial press of the United Kingdom, 
s almost entirely " run" by negroids, though its proprietors are probably white men. 



great has been the destruction of bird-life in Jamaica — partly through the negro 
gunner, and partly through the mongoose introduced by the white man to kill 
the rats — that with the disappearance of so many forms of insectivorous birds 
there has been a damaging increase in numbers of insects and ticks, 1 to the 
prejudice of the cattle and poultry and the discomfort and even disease 
of human visitors or settlers. 

The negro peasants (as I have pointed out in other writings) are recklessly 
destroying the beauty spots of Jamaica, by deflecting waterfalls for temporary 
and rather futile irrigation, by digging up ferns of priceless beauty to plant 
twopenny-halfpenny cabbages and bananas, and hacking down trees of monu- 
mental splendour to obtain a honeycomb or a few orchids for sale to tourists. 
Well might the Nature Study which has passed into the curriculum of the 


Negro's elementary education in British Guiana be taught to every child in 
Jamaica, so that he may realise the wonders and the unsurpassed beauties of 
his own island, and realise them as a commercial asset ; for there is no better 
way of making people good than that of pointing out how goodness " pays " in 
the long run. 

Every child or student should be presented with that classic The Birds of 
Jamaica, by Philip Gosse ; and it should become a Negro ambition to restore 
the bird fauna of Jamaica to what it was in Gosse's day : to bring back the 
vanished Macaw, subsidise the scarlet-bellied Trogon, shoot the man who shoots 
a Tody or a Humming-bird, preserve the Rosy Mountain-Dove, whisper to the 

1 The tick now prevailing throughout Jamaica is said to have been introduced as recently as 1S55 with 
cattle that were brought over from Mexico. At first it was not noteworthy as an addition to the island's 
plagues, but during the last ten years, since there has been such a notable decrease in the birds of Jamaica, 
the tick has become the curse of the island. Many a tourist has had his supreme pleasure in Jamaican 
scenery modified or spoilt by the severe bites of these ticks, which often bring on a serious inflammation of 
the arms or legs, and even lead to eczema. 



Flamingo, " All is now safe ; come here and nest along our southern coast," 
lynch the plumage-hunter who pursues the Snowy Egret, let the black and 
lemon-crested Tyrant-bird become in very sooth a tyrant, and give perpetual 
harbourage and licence to the True Buzzards (eagle-like, but in spite of their 
nobility now nearly extinct), and to the Turkey-buzzard, the bird of Jamaica 
(which is no buzzard, neither a turkey, but a miniature Condor, and an elegant 
incident in every Jamaican landscape). 1 


It is the sight of the birds, the marvellous-coloured fish and crabs and 
crinoids of the honeycombed limestone coast, the harmless Crocodiles 2 of the 

1 The Turkey-buzzard {Cathartes aura) can in certain lights and aspects become a picturesque feature 
in the landscape. The culmen of the sharp-hooked beak is a brilliant ivory-white, but the whole rest of 
the face and neck of the adult bird is a bare scarlet-crimson. The thickly feathered neck is a glossy 
bluish black, as are also the tail and under parts. The wings are of a dark sepia-brown, but the under 
surface of the pinions is a satiny white ; and this is a particularly noteworthy feature when the bird is 
soaring in the air, the smooth greyish white of the under surface of the outspread pinions contrasting 
finely with the velvety black of the body and neck, the bold pink of the legs, and the brilliant crimson- 
scarlet of the bare head. 

2 There is one species of Crocodile (C. americanns, sometimes called C. aaitus) in Jamaica and the 
rest of the Greater Antilles. There is no Alligator in America, except in the Southern States of the 
Union, from the Rio Grande to North Carolina. The only other Alligator in the world is in East China. 
The so-called Alligators of Central and South America are Caimans, a different genus. Since the 
senseless destruction of the Alligator in the United States, the Mocassin Snake has increased considerably 



southern rivers (why shoot them, you senseless tourist, you unreasoning sports- 
man ? You are not one-quarter so interesting), the ring-tailed Iguana lizards, 
(also nearly extinct. . . . Why?), the sea-birds of the Tropics nesting on the 


guano-whitened "cays," which will attract the crowds of educated tourists^who 
will in future visit Jamaica as a living museum, where they may see the 

and caused many deaths (I am so glad) by its bites. The Musk-rats, formerly kept under by the 
Alligator, are now multiplying fast in Louisiana, and are (I am delighted to know) burrowing into the 
levees and embankments along the Mississippi, and causing many thousand pounds' worth of damage. 
Tamaica, take warning ! 

2 8 4 


wonders and beauties of the American tropics with the accompaniment of 
first-rate roads, excellent hotels, comfortable railways and steamers, and perfect 
security of life, outside the hurricane season, and except for an earthquake once 
in fifty years. 

But apart from the money to be made out of the exhibition of Jamaica's 
beauties and marvels, there is the consideration of the future intellectual 
development of the Neo-negroes themselves. Some day they will awaken to 
the intrinsic importance of scenery, of other manifestations of Nature's energy 
than Man — the present culmination of living forms, so far as intellectuality is 


When first taken out of the water they are an exquisite mauve-pink, and though the full beauty of this colour 
fades, enough remains for several years to make them very decorative objects 

concerned. They will miss the Tree Fern if the present ignorant generation 
destroys it to plant the Bread-fruit or the Yam. They will endeavour to 
preserve such Orchids as remain with as much zeal as they plant Rubber Trees 
or Pineapples, and will cultivate the Wild as well as the Edible Banana. 

The Negro — like the British sportsman ; and the unthinking coster who 
sallies forth from our towns in early spring to catch the goldfinch or ravage 
the country-side for saleable roots and flowers — is instinct with a spirit of 
destruction. In Africa — as in Jamaica — he is never happy unless he is killing 
something. Well, let him turn his attention to the rat, the fly, the flea, the 
bug, the jigger, the tick, and above all, the mosquito. Jamaica, like Barbados 
and nearly all the British West Indies, remains extraordinarily ignorant (here 
again its present curriculum of education is to blame) of the theory of the pro- 
pagation of so many tropical diseases by insect or arachnid agencies : the 



theory suggested by Sir Patrick Manson, invented by Professor Ronald Ross, 
and supported by the investigations of so many modest, quiet, ofttimes poor 
saints of the New Hierarchy in British India, Italy, the United States, Eng- 
land, France, and Germany. Carrying out this theory unfalteringly, even to 
the sacrifice of noble martyrs (some day to be beatified by the New Church of 
Humanity), the American Government has extirpated the Stegomyia mosquito 
from the towns of Cuba and of the Panama Canal Zone, of Louisiana, Florida, 
and Porto Rico, and has thereby destroyed Yellow Fever from any refuge 
under the American flag. The British Government might now be well on 
the way towards eradicating the 
Plague from India by eradicating 
the rat and the flea : were it not 
for the crassly stupid opposition 
of Brahmins and Muhammadans ; 
who would sooner see a million 
people die of Plague than allow 
temporarily the abrogation of the 
Purdah in the harem or the pro- 
fanation of a temple, rotten with 
disease-breeding filth. Still, even 
in India we are making progress 
by applying the theory of Ronald 
Ross [who in that region tracked 
down the Anopheles that has de- 
stroyed far more people with 
Malarial Fever than have ever 
been killed by tiger or snake]. 
Somehow our Governors in the 
West Indies (with the exception 
of his present Excellency of 
Jamaica) thought all these new- 
fangled ideas had nothing to 
do with the islands under their 
government ; the churches and 
the missionaries went on teach- 
ing the negro a lot of perfectly 
useless stuff about the ten plagues 
of Egypt, the Israelites in a very 
wearisome wilderness [which is now being crossed by a railway promoted by 
Israelites], and some antiquated Noah's Ark natural history, and never said 
a word about the Fly, the Flea, the Gnat, the Rat, the Tick, the Bug, the 
Nematode Worm, the Trypanosome, Micrococcus, and Treponeme, about the 
preventability of nearly all disease by the extermination of disease-carrying 

In Barbados, where, so far as climate is concerned, every one should live to 
be bicentenarians, the expenditure of public moneys on the extirpation of the 
Stegomyia mosquito has been resisted by Negro Assemblymen and coloured 
journalists (their faulty education is to blame, poor things) ; in Jamaica, so far, 
the authorities Colonial and Parochial (with the exception of the Governor) 
have done nothing — and the citizens, black, white, and yellow, have been acquies- 
cent in their torpor — to get rid of the dangerous mosquitoes from the vicinity 




of human settlements, and so relieve this island entirely of the risk of Yellow- 
Fever. Further drastic action on the same lines might eradicate the Malarial 
Fever which still makes portions of the coast-lands unhealthy for the native- 
born, as well as for the passing tourist who departs from the beaten track. 


Jamaica is a paradise which should have no preventable dangers. Earthquakes 
slay their thousands in tropical America and hurricanes their hundreds ; but 
mosquito-carried diseases wipe out millions of human beings, and render those 
that are not killed unfitted to be the parents of healthy children. 

With a view to enabling the untravelled reader better to understand the 



environment of the Negro in Jamaica, I venture to append a few descriptions 
of Jamaican scenery from my note-book : — 

In the roadstead of Kingston. The spit of Port Royal is a flat tongue of land 
accentuated at its extremity by tallish buildings — earthquake-shattered — and casuarina 



Its lilac-pink clusters of blossoms decorate nearly every garden and roadside 

trees and coco-palms ; but it partially encloses like a huge natural breakwater a vast 
lagoon — one of the best natural harbours in the world. Beyond this and the narrow 
green plain, hazy with the smoke of Kingston, rise the majestic Blue mountains, tier 
after tier, till their summits are often lost in the clouds. They are very different to the 

2 88 


clear-cut, brightly and diversely coloured mountains of Cuba, or the bare blue ridges 
carved and scarped by water and crested with scattered pine forest in Haiti. The 
mountains of Jamaica are so densely clothed with diversified forest that their outlines 
are softened, while the prevailing tint in a distant view is indigo or purple. Jamaica at 
first sight looks like an exaggerated edition of Madeira. . . . 


Most of the trees, large and small, in Jamaica and the southern West Indies bear a 
heavy burden of epiphytic growth : aroids, ferns, bromeliaceous (i.e. pineapple-like) 
, plants, cacti, and orchids 

January is the opening of spring in Jamaica, and the flower-shows of fields and 
gardens then transcend any reasonable description. Particularly remarkable is the 
honey-scented, sulphur-yellow blossom of the logwood-trees, and an almost Japanese 
effect is produced along the roadsides and in garden fences by the Gliricidia with its 
.sprays of lavender-pink bean-blossoms, laburnum-like in growth. Verandahs and out- 
houses are covered by the immense white or smalt-blue flowers of the Thunbergias, by 
th\s scarlet-orange Bignonia from Brazil, white Jasmines, yellow Allamandas, and magenta 
BoUgainvillea. Orange-trees loaded with golden fruit border every suburban road. 



Away from the handiwork of man, the forested mountains constitute beautiful 
natural botanical gardens. The copses of tree ferns on the lower and middle slopes of 
the Blue mountain range are alone worth the twelve days' journey from England. Then 
there are the handsome upright fronds of the wild bananas (Heliconia) with blue-green 
stems and scarlet and yellow spathes ; the foliage of the eight species of palms indi- 
genous to Jamaica ; a naturalised myrtle with large creamy- white flowers : the 
extraordinary cacti, trailing, arborescent, and stumpy ; the handsome papyrus-like rush 
in the coast swamps, and the king of the reeds (Gynerium) with an immense plume 
of fawn-coloured blossom ; the lofty 
bamboos with their yellow - green 
foliage and bottle-green stems ; the 
banyan fig trees with innumerable 
depending roots and trunks of im- 
mense girth ; the silk-cotton trees 
with their glabrous mauve - white 
trunks and horizontal branches 
towering one hundred to two hun- 
dred feet into the air ; and several 
other giants of the forest, which 
might be nicknamed " poor relations' 
trees," since their main trunks and 
huge horizontal branches support an 
extraordinary family of divers para- 
sitical plants — aroids, bromeliaceae, 
cacti, and ferns. A feature of the 
Jamaica hedgerows at this season 
(January) which is grateful to the 
eye of the English or American 
tourist is the large white wild rose 
(Rosa Icevigata), with its centre of 
golden stamens. 

Along the north coast of Jamaica 
there are about three hundred miles 
of road following closely the sea- 
shore, with forested, verdure - clad 
cliffs or mountains (broken occa- 
sionally by river-valleys) on one side, 
and on the other, palm groves and 
limestone rocks or coral reefs, over 
which the blue sea breaks in fountains 
of snowy foam when the northern 
breeze blows stiffly. Amid these reefs 
there are marvellous sea - gardens, 
wherein from the road parapet im- 
mediately above you can descry sponges, anemones and polyps, sea-lilies, crabs, and 
parrot-coloured fish, through a film of blue-green water in times of flat calm. 

One element of the picturesqueness of Jamaican scenery is the limestone formation 
which is characteristic of so much of the coast and the lower mountain ranges. Rain- 
water has carved the limestone into remarkable amphitheatres, known locally as " cock- 
pits " (Kingston harbour is really a submerged cockpit), or has washed out large and 
small caverns — many a one of which along the north coast must have been seen by 
Shakespeare with the intuition of genius when he described the island home of Prospero. 
Or there are natural bridges; strange tunnels through which a stream disappears under- 
ground to emerge on the other side of a mountain as a full-blown river. The entrances 
to these caverns, worthy of Prospero or Merlin, are hung with fantastic curtains of 




A familiar object in the southern West Indies and Equatorial 


trailing aroids and cacti, draperies of maidenhair ferns, and matted tangles of pink 
begonias. On the white limestone rocks lizards of blended ultramarine, grass-green, 
and dull red bask in the sun. Humming-birds with emerald gorgets and long black 
plumes to their tails flutter in the sunlight round the tubular blossoms — orange, blue, 
mauve, rose-pink, waxy-white, purple, lavender, and sulphur-yellow — of a hundred 
different kinds of creepers, lianas, or rock-dwelling plants. Some caverns might be 
arranged for Sycorax rather than Prospero and Ariel. Their portals are wreathed with 
snaky cacti or are defended by stiff Bromeliaceie, whose sharp-pointed leaves are armed 
with the teeth of a saw. The limestone bottoms of the tranquil streams and still pools 
where the overflowing waters of Jamaica rest after precipitous descents from mountain 
peak to valley, give a lovely tone of blue-green to the clear water which is a frequent 
interlude in the landscapes to the limestone crags, cliffs, boulders, and caverns. 

The splendidly made, limestone-surfaced, parapeted roads of the Jamaica coast-line 


lead the delighted traveller past one romantic harbour after another— harbours partly 
enclosed by fantastic Capri-like islands, where picturesque sailing craft (the hulls often 
painted bright red) lie in still waters of purple and green, alongside piers of bamboo and 
palm, at which they unload or receive brightly coloured cargoes of fruit or foreign 
produce. The harbours mostly bear Spanish names, and are frequently reminders of 
some episode in the history of Jamaica during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth 
centuries. Here was a pirate stronghold ; there was the last stand of the Spaniards. 
From that ruined fort, half overgrown by palmetto palms, may have been witnessed the 
decisive defeat of a Spanish or French attack, or the capture of a contraband slave ship. 
The ruined dwelling-houses and sugar-mills tell of a less distant past when, under the 
changing industrial condition of Jamaica — the transition from slavery to eventual free 
labour and the competition of beet-sugar — many an old free-living family of British 
Jamaicans came to financial grief. The old home was abandoned, and the sugar planta- 
tion gave way in course of time to coffee, oranges, cacao, or bananas. The ruins may 
not be more than sixty to a hundred years old, but they have sometimes the dignity of a 
mouldering castle or monastery. The climate of Jamaica has coloured the walls of 


stone or brick with brilliant lichens and thick green moss-ferns in every cranny, and 
perpendicular fringes of the Rhipsalis cactus, like mistletoe in its growth. 1 Lofty trees 
grow from the desecrated alcoves or the bow-windowed front of a drawing-room. 
The unheeded leat of water which once played some important part in the industry of 
the sugar-mill now drips away to form a magnificent pool of water-hyacinths. The 
crumbling masonry tank that was once a refreshing plunge-bath has become the dry 
playground of brilliant-coloured lizards. 

Yet in close proximity to these ruins are spick-and-span verandahed houses of painted 
wood, mounted high above the ground on pillars or blocks of concrete, approached by 
flights of steps and terraces of stone or brick, bright with flowering shrubs or roses. 
There are ruined churches — why ruined no one can tell me, since they were abandoned 
long before the recent earthquake — and within sight of them new chapels of wood and 
corrugated iron. Corrugated iron, indeed, enters somewhat too lavishly into the modern 
architecture of Jamaica, from the negro cottage to the Government building. A much 

Once a pirate stronghold in the early eighteenth century 

more picturesque form of roofing is the American shingle of pine wood. The Spanish 
tile seems to be unused. As a rule, however, the Jamaican towns and villages are 
pleasing to the eye. There is no uniformity in the style of houses, and they are usually 
gay with colour or dazzling white with limewash ; and, of course, every dwelling is 
surrounded by magnificent foliage and brilliant flowers — Hibiscus, Thunbergia, Bignonia, 
Petrcea, and Bougainvillea : by the red, yellow-green, and purple leaves of the crotons ; 
and by glossy orange trees hung with their golden balls or thickly set with odorous 
blossom, Citrus racemosus with its lemon-yellow globes, the crimson-fruited akees, and 
the purple-and-green star-apples. 

Though a constant destruction of bird-life has been going on at the hands of the 
European and negro gunners, partly to supply the plumage market, wild birds are still a 
feature in Jamaican scenery. Besides the two or three species of humming-birds, there 
is another exquisite form in the green tody, the " robin " of the Jamaican negroes. This 
is a tiny bird distantly related to the kingfisher group, with long flat yellow beak and a 
plumage of emerald-green, shading here and there into green-blue, and in addition 
a splendid patch of scarlet feathers on the throat and breast. The orange quits 
(Giossoptila) are worthy of remark : their plumage is deep smalt-blue, with orange throat. 

1 For an illustration of this epiphytic Rhipsalis see page 320. 



Then there are the black Crotophaga cuckoos with parrot-like beaks, the tyrant birds 
with crests of black and lemon-yellow and shouting cries, the copper-coloured, rosy-tinted 
mountain pigeons, the tiny little ground-doves, the green pink-cheeked parrots, the large 
buzzards (almost the size of eagles), and, above all, the vulture-like turkey buzzards 
{Cathartes aura), whom the Jamaicans call "John Crows." 

So as to include in this survey all portions of America which are mainly 
inhabited by Negroes or Negroids, it is necessary to make a brief reference to 
the Cayman Islands, which lie to the west-north-west of Jamaica. The largest 
of the three, Grand Cayman, is 178 miles distant from the western extremity of 
Jamaica, and is about eighty-five square miles in area. Altogether the group 


of three islands (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brae) has a 
habitable land surface of 100 square miles. 

Geographically they belong to Cuba, though they may not have had any 
actual land connection : politically they have never been anything but British, 
though they were an early resort of the Anglo-French Buccaneers who, v\ hen 
harassed by British warships, fled thence to Louisiana. Since the latter part of 
the seventeenth century they have been under the British flag and the government 
of Jamaica. From this island they were colonised by Englishmen, who brought 
with them several hundred negro slaves. Besides this a number of derelict 
English seamen settled here during the nineteenth century. The population 
to-day numbers in all about 6000, 700 or 800 of whom are white, 2000 coloured, 
and the remainder negro. The people of all shades are vigorous, moral, and 
are increasing somewhat in numbers, though there is much temporary emigration. 
The proportion of illegitimate births is only 127, a great contrast to the rest 
of the West Indies, and to Jamaica especially. 

' There is no pauper-roll and little actual poverty. All the colonists are 


freeholders : a rented house is practically unknown." 1 The homesteads are 
quoted as remarkably tidy, and although the islands are well furnished with 
courts and jails, there is hardly any crime. " My experience of the Negro 
here is that he is a law-abiding, respectful and honest man. He does not ape 
European customs and manners, except so far as his clothes are concerned " 
(G. S. S. Hirst). Education is described as "neglected." In 1905 a law was 
passed in the island's legislature establishing elementary schools in each 
district. Of course, as soon as the Devil heard of this, he sent a devastating 
hurricane (in 1907) and blew down nearly all the schools. The parents then 
— perhaps wisely — gave up a futile struggle with the Evil One and relapsed 
into apathy on the subject of reading and writing. 

The local legislature referred to is styled " Justices and Vestry." It is com- 
posed of magistrates appointed by the Governor of Jamaica and vestrymen 
elected by the people. Its laws are subject to the sanction of the Governor of 
Jamaica, who also appoints the Commissioner who directs the affairs of the 
three. islands. The people in Grand Cayman belong mainly to the Presbyterian 
Church, and in Little Cayman and Cayman Brae to the Baptist Church. 

The Cayman Islanders are chiefly seafaring in their occupations. Those 
to whom a sea life is distasteful usually emigrate to Nicaragua or the Southern 
States, but return home to spend the money they have earned. Indeed, were 
it not for a hurricane once in ten years (the islands are low in many parts, 
nowhere reaching to more than 150 feet above sea-level, and therefore very 
unprotected) one cannot imagine their wishing to live anywhere else : for they 
are very slightly taxed, and their three islands teem with the romance of 
buried pirate-treasure ; with natural curiosities in the way of stupendous 
caves under the sea, subterranean passages, and an immense natural cistern in 
the middle of a cliff of solid flint, together with dense coco-nut groves on the 
two little islands and, on Grand Cayman, splendid forests of mahogany, cedar 
(Juniperus), and most of the timber and dye-woods of Jamaica and Yucatan. 
There are remarkable orchids, found nowhere else ; and there is a pretty species 
of Chrysotis parrot peculiar to Grand Cayman. 

The principal industries are the export of coco-nuts, shipbuilding from the 
timber of Grand Cayman ; the working of phosphates, the capture of Green 
turtle and Hawk's-bill (tortoiseshell) turtle on the rocks and in the shoal water 
to the north-east of Nicaragua ; the making of basket-work, etc., out of the young 
leaves of the Inodes palmetto palm ; the breeding and export of cattle, ponies, 
goats, rabbits, and poultry ; and lastly, most fascinating of all occupations ! the 
fishing for pink pearls obtained from the large conch shells. 

1 Mr. Frank Cundall, F. S.A., from whose Handbook of Jamaica some of this information is drawn, 
the remainder being supplied by His Honour the Commissioner (G. S. S. Hirst, Esq.). 





"^HE Bahamas are the vestiges of an archipelago of large, flat islands 
stretching between the vicinity of Northern Hispaniola and the coast of 
Florida, connected most nearly (so far as shallowness of water is con- 
cerned) with the north coast of Cuba, separated from Hispaniola by a narrow, 
but very deep trough, and from Florida by a strait of water which has an 

average depth of three thousand 
feet. The Great Bahama Bank 
(of which the Islands of Andros, 
New Providence, and Eleuthera 
are fragments) was once a huge 
island larger than Hispaniola. 
Its upper surface is entirely 
composed of and overlaid by 
a sedimentary limestone com- 
posed of coral and other cal- 
careous detritus. Apparently 
the archipelago is again rising 
above the surface of the sea. It 
offers now, excluding mere rocks, 
an area of 4241 square miles. 1 

The Bahamas were the first 
portion of the NewWorld reached 
by Columbus, who landed at 
Watling Island on October 1 2th, 
1492. They were found to be 
inhabited by a friendly race of 
Amerindians, named by the 
Spaniards li Lucayans," and ob- 
viously related in race and lan- 
guage to the Arawaks of Porto 
Rico, Haiti and Cuba. 

1 About half the size of Wales, and 

larger than Jamaica ; but this estimate is 

256. an OLD fort, dating from the early now disputed and the total land surface of 

eighteenth century the 29 islands, 661 " cays " or islets and 

Near Nassau, New Providence Island 2387 rocks, is placed at 5450 square miles. 




During the fifty years following Columbus's landfall the Spaniards lured 
away the Lucayans to service in Hispaniola, Cuba and the American mainland, 
or, if they would not come willingly, took them away by force. It is generally 
assumed that none of these Amerindians remained in the Bahamas when the 
British began to settle here after 1629; but a few may have lingered till 
the eighteenth century in the island of Andros. 

A few English colonists came out in 1629 under a patent of Charles I and 
settled on the little island " New Providence," 1 but twelve years afterwards 
the Spaniards descended on them and wiped them out. In 1649 a band of 
English people from the Bermuda Islands, expelled from that colony for their 
religious dissent, settled on the Bahaman island of Eleuthera and apparently 
brought some negroes with them. In 1666 New Providence was recovered 
from the Spaniards and settled anew, and in 1670 Charles II gave a Charter for 


the Bahamas to the Lords-Proprietors of the newly created Carolina territory, 
through whose efforts in 1672 the total population of the Northern Bahamas 
was raised to about five hundred persons. 

But even before this date the archipelago with its intricate channels, reefs, 
sand-banks, sheltered harbours, supplies of salt for meat and fish-curing, springs 
of fresh water, its facilities for whale hunting, and treasures of washed-up 
ambergris, its shipbuilding timber {Juniperus barbadensis or "cedar") and dye- 
woods,- and above all its splendid healthiness, had become the chosen resort and 
stronghold of the pirates and buccaneers of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean 
Sea. From these islands the piratical ships of the English, and sometimes the 
French and Dutch, preyed on Spanish commerce and attacked rich Spanish- 
American coast towns. Many of the seamen on these pirate ships were negroes. 

Consequently the Spaniards again in 1684 and in 1703 seized and held the 

1 This name was not given to the island till 1667. 

2 Logwood and Braziletto. " Braziletto" [Cccsalpinia vesicaria) is a near relation of Brazil wood. It 
produces a bright red or orange dye. 



settlement of Nassau and carried off the English pirate-colonists. But the 
place was soon regained, and at last the British Government took its duties 
seriously. The Lords-Proprietors of North and South Carolina surrendered 
their Bahaman charter to the Crown, 1 and King George I sent a gallant sea- 
captain — Admiral Woods Rogers— to govern the Bahamas and exterminate the 
pirates. Also the Hanoverian king was instrumental in obtaining for New- 
Providence Island a potent addition to its white population — a band of 
Germans from the Rhine. By 1770 the British settlements in the Bahama 
Islands had a population of two thousand whites and one thousand negro 
slaves. About this time the cultivation of cotton had been introduced from 
Georgia, the seed being of the Persian variety. More slaves were imported to 
work this cotton, and over four thousand acres had been planted by 1783. 


After the close of the American War in 1783 (in the course of which war 
Spain had seized and garrisoned the island of New Providence, and had been 
turned out of it by a small force of British-American Loyalists from South 
Carolina and Florida), the Bahamas seemed to offer a welcome refuge to those 
subjects of Great Britain in the Southern States of the new Union who had 
taken the part of the British Government in the struggle, and now found it 
difficult to settle down under the Stars and Stripes. Accordingly, between 1784 
and 1786 about four thousand white British- Americans and six thousand negro 
slaves arrived in the Bahamas, where the white men were given free grants of 
land. The new-comers went to work vigorously to plant cotton, and in a few 
years had added three thousand acres to the area already under cotton. Un- 
fortunately they also brought with them a spirit of harshness in their " slave- 
driving" and their general treatment of negroes which had not hitherto been 
characteristic of the Bahaman whites. At first the new colonists were not well 
received by the old-established settlers, and attempts were made to deny them 

1 1 heir proprietary rights were bought up by the British Government in 17S7. 


the right to the franchise and membership of the House of Assembly. But 
by about 1790 all this sentiment had passed away, and all white planters, 
whether of American or European origin, were united in opposing any humane 
measures which were put forward by the Governor for ameliorating the condi- 
tion and treatment of the slaves. The Governor, on his part, was constrained 
to move in the matter because of the growing feeling in the British House of 
Commons relative to the wrongs of slaver}-, a feeling which put pressure on 
the Government of the day, and caused the Secretary for War and the Colonies 
to urge on the colonial legislatures new and more humane slave laws. 

In the Bahama Islands an Act was passed in 1796 dealing with the treat- 
ment of slaves, which was obviously based, like much contemporary legislation 
in the British West Indies, on the provisions of the Spanish Code of 1789 
(see pp. 43-6). Slaves above ten years of age were to be provided with the 
following food allowance : either one peck of un- 
ground maize or sorghum, or twenty-one pints 
of wheat flour, or seven quarts of rice ; fifty-six 
pounds of potatoes or yams per week, over and 
above a sufficient quantity of land for the slave 
to cultivate and use as a kitchen garden or 
orchard. Children were to receive half this food 
allowance. No infirm or aged slave was to be 
abandoned by the owner, but to be properly 
provided for. Two suits of proper and sufficient 
clothing were to be granted to each slave in the 
course of every year. Slaves were to be in- 
structed in the Christian religion and to be bap- 
tised. Mutilation of slaves was to be severely 
punished, and if necessary the slave was to be 
freed by the court. Moreover, the law was not 
to direct slaves to be mutilated for any offence. 
The killing of a slave wilfully and with malice 
aforethought was to be adjudged murder, and to 
be punished with death without benefit of clergy. 
Any person wantonly or cruelly whipping or 

otherwise maltreating, imprisoning, or confining without proper support a slave, 
was to be punished by fine and imprisonment. No slave was to receive more than 
twenty lashes at any one time or for any one offence, unless the owner, or the 
keeper of a gaol, was present ; and under no circumstances was the flogging to 
consist of more than thirty-nine lashes. " And whereas a mischievous practice 
hath prevailed in some of the colonies of punishing ill-disposed slaves and 
such as are apt to abscond, by fixing iron collars with projecting bars or hooks 
round their necks ; be it enacted and declared that such practice is utterly 

Equally unlawful was the loading of the body of such a slave with weights 
and iron chains, except such as were absolutely necessary for securing the 
person of a slave in confinement. Every slave was to be allowed Christmas 
Day and the two following working days as a holiday. Free people of colour 
shielding or concealing runaway slaves might suffer loss of freedom as a punish- 
ment. A slave offering violence by striking or otherwise to any white person 
might be punished with death. Any slave who played at dice or cards, or was 
guilty of any kind of gaming, would be publicly whipped. 


Capt. B- 


-, a shipmaster of the Bahama 

2 9 8 


From the very commencement of the nineteenth century to 
of slavery in 1833, the House of Assembly which debated an 
laws for this scattered archipelago was in constant conflict with 
or the Attorney-General or the British Colonial Office over the 
slaves. The members of the Assembly — needless to say — were 
were elected until 1834 by a purely white electorate, perhaps 
numbers about two thousand men. 1 The slaves numbered about 
during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. There were 

the abolition 
d passed the 
the Governor 

treatment of 
all white, and 

averaging in 
ten thousand 

three or four 


thousand free negroes and mulattoes, but (until 1834) they possessed no civic 

Perhaps nowhere in the West Indies did the white planters fight more 
doggedly to maintain the abuses of slavery than in the Bahamas. The flogging 
of women slaves was regarded as a very Ark of the Covenant. Once take 
away from the Bahaman cotton-planter this legal right to be vilely inhumane, 
and the prosperity of the Bahama Islands would crumble and disappear. The 
oft-times ferocious and lubric flogging of female slaves did not come to an end 
until the abolition of slavery in 1834. Negro men and women were not 
infrequently whipped to death. One typically horrible case is recorded in 

1 The sum total of whites as late as 1831 was only 4240. 


1S33 by Lieut-Governor B. T. Balfour as having just occurred on Watling's 
Island (Columbus's landfall). A slave was suspended from a beam by the 
hands and feet, face downwards. Another slave was placed across the sus- 
pended body and whilst in that posture a merciless flogging was administered, 
with the result that death ensued (apparently to both). 

Before 1796 there was practically no legal limit to the number of lashes 
which might be laid on the quivering body of a male or female slave, but in 
that year a law of the As- 
sembly grudgingly limited 
the number to thirty-nine ; 
a limitation contemptuously 
disregarded in practice, and 
with safety, as slaves might 
not testify against their 
masters ; planters, with one 
or two exceptions, never told 
tales of each other, and 
white juries never convicted 
white men of cruelty to 
negroes. Some slight re- 
forms, however, were effected 
in 1824. In that year a law 
was enacted permitting a 
slave to purchase his free- 
dom at current prices from 
his master. In 1829 the 
slave laws of the Bahamas 
were consolidated and fur- 
ther improved as regards 
humane treatment of the 
slave, though the legislators 
still clung to the privilege 
of whipping women as well 
as men. Nevertheless they 
stuck into the new Act 
the usual sickening humbug 
about religious instruction 
being given to the men and 
women whom at their own wicked will they might, in savage moods, torture and 
kill with virtual immunity. 

At last in 1834 came abolition of slavery, followed by four years of enforced 
apprenticeship. The slave-owners were compensated from the pocket of the 
British taxpayer to the extent of a little over £20 per slave. In 1838 the last 
cargo of African slaves had been landed on the Bahama Islands (for the trade 
in slaves with Africa did not really receive its death-blow in the British West 
Indies until slavery itself was abolished); and from about 1840 onwards the 
Bahama archipelago entered on a new and more prosperous life. 

During the last hundred years the white element in the population has 
risen from about 4000 to over 16,00c), 1 and the negro or coloured element, from 

1 Excepting for about seven thousand, the hulk of the white people of the Bahamas (many of them 
derived from the United States between 1783 and 186S) are rather a poor lot physically and mentally. 






an approximate 12,000 to 44,000. The negroes of the Bahamas have been 
derived from the Niger delta, Dahome, the Eastern Gold Coast, and the 

Congo. They have fused into a stalwart type, 
and a healthy one, except for leprosy, which is 
the curse of some of the islands. An interesting 
point about the Bahama negroes is the relative 
frequency of polydactylism — six fingers and 
six toes. 

The Bahamas have possessed since their 
more definite establishment as a British Colony 
in 1 7 19 a Constitution based on an Elective 
House of Assembly. From 1834 the franchise 
to elect and the right to be elected to this 
Assembly have been shared by negroes and 
negroids with the white race. There is a 
Legislative Council of nine members nominated 
by the Crown, among whom are one or two 
coloured men ; and there is the nearly two- 
hundred-years-old House of Assembly. This 
consists of twenty-nine members, elected by 
male British subjects who have resided at least 
a year in the Bahamas, and who possess land of 
at least ^5 in value, or occupy premises at a 

minimum rental of £2 8s. (in New Providence Island, or £1 4s. in the 

other islands). The qualification for membership is the possession of an 

estate or of personal property worth not less than £,2CO. At present there are 

six negroes or men of colour in the House of 


Education in the Bahamas seems to be 

somewhat lacking according to the criticisms, 

public and private, which have come under my 

eyes. A Government system of primary educa- 
tion commenced in 1847. A Board of Education 

now supervises the instruction given in the 

colony by Government or subsidised schools. 

There are now 46 undenominational primary 

Government schools with nearly 7000 scholars 

on the roll; and 16 partly aided schools. In 

addition, 26 schools are supported and directed 

by the Church of England and are attended 

by about 1600 scholars. Three Roman Catholic 

schools (chiefly for girls, with 500 pupils) are 

maintained by the Roman Church. Further 

there are 16 private schools for the tuition of 

the children of parents who can afford to pay 

for a superior education. Government primary 

This is said to be due to much in-and-in breeding, and the results are evident in the large percentage of 
blind, deaf and dumb, deformed, paralysed, idiot, scrofulous, tuberculous, and leprous people. "Close 
intermarrying without the elimination of abnormalities has been productive of a shocking condition of 
degeneracy." See for details The Bahama Islands, by George B Shattuck (New York : 1905). But it is 
clear from subsequent researches that many of the " poor " whites and the negroes of the Bahamas are 
suffering from anremia caused by the " Hook-Worm" disease. See p. 17 et sea. 




education is free, and education is compulsory in New Providence and the 
larger islands. 

A good secondary education is given almost gratuitously in the Nassau 
Grammar School and St. Hilda's School (for young women), both of which are 
conducted by the Church of England. There is also Queen's College, a teach- 
ing institution supported by the Wesleyan Church. 

The complaints generally uttered about the style of education given in the 
Bahama Islands would seem to concentrate on this point : that the instruction 
is not sufficiently shaped to meet the immediate modern needs of the Bahamans; 
is not practical enough. 1 In 1905 (partly in consequence of the utterance given 



in the foot-note), a "Young Men's Intellectual and Industrial Institute" was 
founded on the lines of the American Hampton and Tuskegee ; and this has 

1 The remarks on this subject made by a former Governor (Sir Gilbert Carter) in 1904 are worth 
quoting : — 

" I fear that in this colony the type of education provided under the auspices of the Government is 
not that which is best suited to the needs of the masses, and if any real progress is to be effected, a radical 
alteration must be made in the present system. It may be said that none of the boys reached by the 
Education Act proceed with their studies after leaving school. As a rule, the main object of the parents 
is to get them away from school, so that their services may be utilised on board a sponger or in some form 
of manual labour. In the very unlikely event of a boy showing an aptitude for book-learning, and making 
the best use of his training, his great ambition is to become a clerk in a store, or possibly to enter the 
Government service. But the demand for this form of labour is extremely limited and very poorly 
remunerated, whereas there is need for a good class of artisans. At present there is not one master 
carpenter, blacksmith, or mason in the colony, and no means of training these and possible exponents of 
other industrial arts. There are men who build houses and small craft, and fashion wood and iron into 
various shapes ; but it is the ' rule of thumb ' which reigns, and there is little of the precision which 
comes of the trained hand and eye in conjunction with a trained mind. What is wanted here is a system 
based on that so ably conducted by Mr. Booker Washington at Tuskegee, Alabama, United States of 
America, and until that or some similar scheme based upon industrial training as the main factor in the 
educational method is adopted, I fear that no improvement in the condition of the large native population 
in this colony will be manifested. It is easy, however, to make a destructive criticism : but although an 
alternative system may be advocated, it is almost impossible in a colony like this, where the revenue is 
never sufficient for the calls upon it, to make the radical change which would be necessary in order to place this 
question upon a proper foundation, and unfortunately so far little disposition has been shown by the Legisla- 
ture to assist the Government in its efforts to encourage practical agriculture, which, after all, is the 
industry upon which the mass of the people must rely, and about which at present they know next to 



now become the " The Baynton Normal and Industrial Institute," duly- 

The supreme industry of the Bahamas is sponge-fishing : an enterprise 
which employs over 6000 negro men and boys, a few negro women, and 
a hundred or so white men. Nearly 300 schooners and over 300 
sloops of a total tonnage of about 7000 tons, and about 2700 open boats, 
form the fleet of the sponge-fishing industry. The search for sponges (by 
diving) and " pink pearls," and the capture of turtles for " tortoiseshell," besides 
the catching and curing of fish and the collection of beautiful shells, are maritime 
pursuits which have made the Bahaman negro a seaman of daring, resource, 
and instinctive local knowledge. 

Another important industry carried on principally by negro labour is 
the cultivation of " Bahama hemp " or " Sisal." This is a fibre-producing agave 
(Agave sisalia) introduced from Yucatan to the Bahamas in 1850. Excellent 

pineapples, oranges, and the huge delicious 
Citrus 1-acemosus (perversely called by Americans 
"grape-fruit"- — there being nothing about it to 
suggest a grape) are cultivated now and exported 
chiefly to the United States. The thin soil 
overlying the coral-limestone rock has become 
(except in the interior of the larger islands) too 
exhausted for cotton-growing. A good deal of 
salt is still manufactured for West Indian con- 
sumption from the stagnant pools and lakelets 
of intensely salt water on the more southern 
islands of the group. 

In the better-populated islands the Bahamans 
may be described as industrious, besides possess- 
ing many other good qualities. The women in 
their homes manufacture table-cloths, napkins, 
materials for dresses, etc., out of fine linen in what 
is called "Spanish drawn-thread work." This 
is eagerly bought up by American tourists, who 
are increasingly resorting to the Bahama Islands 
to spend the winter months. 1 The Bahaman women (negress or coloured) 
are deft and tasteful as dressmakers ; to such a degree that many American 
women-visitors take advantage of their winter stay in New Providence to get 
smart dresses made for summer wear. 

The negro men are chiefly engaged in husbandry 2 and seafaring pursuits. 
Those that are town-dwellers go in for almost every avocation that attracts the 
white man. They are (unskilled) masons, carpenters and joiners ; storekeepers, 
engineers, blacksmiths; lawyers, doctors, ministers in chapels; clerks, minor 
officials, postmen, policemen, firemen, volunteer soldiers, and musicians. Wages 
are very low : ranging from 3s. to 18s. a week ; 10s. being the average. • 

1 Among the other assets of this group, and a great attraction to the tourists, are the love'y natural 
aquariums among the white coral rocks, and the breeding-places of thousands of rosy flamingoes and 

- Most of them work for white employers on the various plantations ; but every negro family living 
outside the towns has its own orchard and kitchen garden, looked after mostly by the women. Curiously 
enough, however, Governor Carter reported a few years back that the negro peasantry think it much more 
stylish to eat canned fruit and vegetables from abroad, and provisions generally that are grown on the spot 
and not imported and preserved are considered to be " low down." 



There is not much serious crime in the Bahamas ; such as there is, is more 
common, proportionately, among the indigenous white population than among 
the coloured. The Bahaman negro bears a good reputation in this American 
Mediterranean. He is honest in big things, exceedingly good-tempered, brave, 
law-abiding, and hard-working. Perhaps rather superstitious ; for Obia 
practices still linger amongst the peasantry and fetishes are still hung on the 
fruit trees to protect them. 

Among themselves the negroes of the Bahamas are charitable and even 
provident. Except in the semi-barbarous, sparsely-populated, outlying islands 
they all belong to mutual help societies which provide funds for burying 
the dead, for relief in sickness, and also act as savings-banks. The affairs of 
these benefit associations are conducted with remarkable shrewdness and 


honesty. Noteworthy amongst them is that of the " Congo United Society." 
This has an adult membership of more than six hundred, besides a juvenile 
branch. It was founded by Congo slaves towards the close of the Slavery 
period. Although many of its members are illiterate the affairs of the society 
are administered honestly and wisely. 1 

Another method of promoting thrift is apparently of Yoruban origin. 
Little associations called " Asu : ' are formed of one or two dozen people who 
agree to contribute weekly a small sum towards a common fund. Every 
month (?) the amount thus pooled is handed to a member, in order of seniority 
of admission, and makes a little nest-egg for investment or relief. These 
" Asu " have no written statutes or regulations, no regular officers, but carry on 
their affairs without fraud or miscalculation. 

Altogether the outlook for the Negro in the Bahamas is hopeful. The pre- 
sent population — over 60,000 — is ridiculously small for a habitable area of 
4000 square miles enjoying a perfectly salubrious climate and free from 
most tropical diseases. Though the cultivable soil is thin and has been 

1 Dr. A. R. Holly, in letter to author. 



exhausted in many places, it can easily be renewed by local manures — 
phosphates, guano, dead fish, etc. The average annual rainfall is fifty inches, 
and vegetation is so abundant on the larger islands (in the interior)^ as to 
create serious obstacles to exploration. It is indeed a fact that the whole 
surface of Andros Islands 1 (about 2300 square miles in extent) has not yet 


been examined by a white man ; and down to a hundred years ago Lucayan 
aborigines were believed to be lurking unseen in the dense forests. These 
forests contain mahogany, pines, fan-palms, junipers ("cedars"), wild cinna- 
mon (canella bark), the handsome Quassia tree (Simaruba), Gum-elemi, 
numerous splendid flowering trees (native or introduced), and others valuable 
for their dyes, drugs, perfumes, timber, bark, or fruit. Many of these trees are 

1 It is really one huge island 109 miles long by 22 miles broad, but pierced through the middle by a 
number of shallow channels of salt water. 


low-growing, sturdy, and gnarled (as compared to their congeners in the more 
mountainous West India Islands), because one of the drawbacks of the 
Bahamas is their low elevation (the highest hills are scarcely over 250 feet), 
and the fierce winds from the open Atlantic sweep over them unopposed. 

The mean track of those awful Hurricanes 1 , which are the supreme curse 
(balanced by an otherwise superb endowment) of the West Indies, lies fre- 


quently across the easternmost islands of the widespread Bahama archipelago, 
and these perhaps will never be desirable sites for colonisation. But hurri- 

1 The West Indian hurricanes for the most part originate in the seas around the Lesser Antilles, or 
to the eastward of that chain. The rare cyclones of June and July usually spring up in the Caribbean 
Sea near the north coast of South America or in the vicinity of Trinidad. The course of all the hurri- 
canes is invariably from the south and east to the west and north, with a curve, slight or abrupt, in the 
middle of their course. Violent winds occur off the Georgian and Florida coasts occasionally in May, 
but not in the West Indies. Cyclonic winds in this region or in the Caribbean may commence in June 
and are more frequent in July. But August is pre-eminently the hurricane month. September and October 
are bad. November shows an occasional, rare cyclonic wind. After that there is peace and safety till 
June or July. The mean track of the worst August-October hurricanes lies from the chain of the Lesser 
Antilles, along the north coasts of Hispaniola and Cuba, through either the north-west or south-east of 
the Bahamas to Florida. Jamaica has frightful thunderstorms accompanied by incredible deluges of rain, 
but is not often ravaged by a cyclonic wind. The Lesser Antilles, and especially the Leeward Islands, 
suffer most frequently from devastating hurricanes. 

These disturbances are more frequent, and cause more loss of life and damage to property than 
earthquakes. From earthquakes, Trinidad, the Windward Islands, Barbados, and all the Lesser 
Antilles (except St. Thomas) are practically free. Hispaniola and Jamaica have suffered much, Cuba 
a little, the Bahamas not at all. It ought to be within the limits of Man's science in the next hundred 
years to acquire a control over the meteorological causes which create violent disturbances of the air and 
so put a stop to hurricanes and cyclones. When this comes about, and disease is also eliminated by the 
extirpation of insect pests, then, indeed, will the West Indies become the Earthly Paradise ! 



canes also afflict the north-western islands of the group. Yet the Bahamas 
are not so often or so severely ravaged by these cyclonic disturbances as the 
continent of North America, the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Moreover, the 
Bahama Islands are outside the Earthquake area, and thus enjoy an enormous 
advantage over the Greater and Lesser Antilles, Central and South America. 

The British WINDWARD ISLANDS of to-day consist of St. Lucia, 
St. Vincent, Grenada, and the Grenadines (an area of 524 square miles). 
During the seventeenth century these islands were mainly given up to the 
Caribs by the French and English pirates as some compensation for turning 
these fierce Amerindians out of the Leeward Islands. 



All through the period from 1627 to 1803 the island of St. Lucia was 
alternately French and British ; St. Vincent from 1627 to 1796, and Grenada 
and the Grenadines from 1762 to 1796, were likewise the battle-ground of the 
two Powers, being captured and recaptured, surrendered after successful naval 
engagements to be restored after treaties of peace. Since 1796 or 1803 they 
have all been British possessions. 

Negro slaves were either brought hither from the British Leeward Islands 
or from Barbados (when the British got the upper hand), or came with French 
planters and adventurers from Martinique. On the whole the French-negro 
element has predominated, and the slaves (now the peasantry of these islands) 
speak a French jargon like the "Creole" tongue of Haiti, Guadeloupe, 
Dominica, and Martinique. 

Between 1675 and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries several slave- 


ships were wrecked on the south coast of St. Vincent or on Bequia Island ; the 
captive negroes escaped and made their way into the woods of the interior. 
Other fugitive negroes also fled to St. Vincent from Barbados and Martinique, 
and all found hospitality and shelter with the Caribs, who still possessed the 
interior of St. Vincent. The first instalment of negro immigrants (wrecked 
on Bequia in 1675) were " Mokos," or people from Old Calabar, the Cross River, 
and the vicinity of the Cameroons. 

The Amerindian Caribs at first placed the negroes in a mild serfdom, but 
were annoyed at the frequency of their cohabiting with the Carib women, who 
readily conceived children by negro husbands. The Carib men at first plotted 
to kill these dark-skinned half-castes ; but the negroes were now numerous. 

b >Lr*S# 


They rose against the Amerindians and drove them into a small part of north- 
west St. Vincent. The French from Martinique sought in 17 19 to gain some 
advantage by taking the part of the Red Caribs (as the unmixed Amerindians 
were called) against the Black Caribs (Maroon negroes and Negro-Carib half- 
castes). But they were worsted in the attempt and driven off the island by 
the warlike blacks. Then came the English in 1723, but with no better if 
more peaceful results. After that for forty years the struggle between Carib 
and Ne^ro went on, till the " Black " Caribs numbered several thousand and 
the " Red " Caribs two or three hundred. By the end of the eighteenth 
century the Red Caribs had become extinct, but the Black — about two-thirds 
Negro and one-third Carib — had developed into a very interesting and hand- 
some type which must have resembled strongly some of the tall Melanesians 
of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. 

The British took definite possession of St. Vincent in 1763. By this time 
the Black Caribs had adopted French as their medium of communication, and 



some of their chiefs spoke French with elegance and aptness. They were 
inclined to protest against the partition of "their" island among British 
planters, denying to any European Power the claim to possess it. " We were 
cast ashore here or fled here from our oppressors. We intermarried with the 
original owners, the Caribs, then fought with and subdued them. It is our 
island now." 

The Black Caribs were in 1773 (after much stiff fighting) induced to sign 
a treaty of peace and friendship, and about one-third of the island (at the 
north end of St. Vincent) was allotted to them as their exclusive property. 
But they continued to maintain some friendship for the French, and in 1779 
assisted them to ravage British St. Vincent and conquer the island. St. 
Vincent was restored to Great Britain in 1783, but once again in 1795 it was 

' v *•."■;-. • 


overrun by the Black Caribs. Sir Ralph Abercromby restored order in 1796, 
and to punish the Black Caribs for their unprovoked aggressions and many 
murders of white people the survivors among them (more than five thousand) 
were deported to the large island of Ruatan, off the north-east coast of what 
is now the independent republic of Honduras. 1 

The Caribs of Grenada had been brutally exterminated by the French 
between 1650 and 1656. From about 1670 a few hundred negro slaves were 
introduced into that island, and after 17 13 until 1762 (when the island became 
definitely British) the French planters obtained considerable supplies of negroes 

1 In those days Britain maintained sovereignty over Ruatan and the "Bay" Islands, as part of the 
Honduras or " Mosquito" district where British adventurers went with negro slaves to cut mahogany. 
Other negro hybrids — independently of the Black Caribs — had somehow arisen in these coast districts of 
Northern and Eastern Spanish Honduras. They were known as the " Sambos," and gradually made 
common cause with the Black Caribs, as did some of the Amerindians of Honduras and Guatemala. The 
Carib negroids from St. Vincent now number some twenty or thirty thousand, and are the dominant 
people in this coast belt of Honduras. The negro element is dwindling under repeated crossing with the 
local Amerindian, but to this race they have imparted fertility and vigour and a superb physique. The 
descendants of the Black Caribs still retain the use of a French jargon (mixed with Carib) and adherence 
to Roman Catholic Christianity. 


through the Dutch, so that by 1762 the number of slaves in the island (and the 
string of little islets known as the Grenadines) amounted to about 30,000. 
Under subsequent British and French rule (for France reoccupied Grenada in 
1779-83) the amount of slaves decreased and a number of free blacks and 
mulattoes became landholders and planters. These retained their French 
sympathies. Indeed throughout the history of the West Indies and the 
Southern States of the North American Union it is remarkable — with the sole 
exception of St. Domingue — what a great hold the French quickly obtained 
over the negro and how loath the latter was to be transferred to the rule of the 
Anglo-Saxon. When that scourge of Britain in the Leeward and Windward 


Islands, Victor Hugues, 1 sent emissaries to Grenada (as to St. Vincent) in 1795, 
the French negroes and mulattoes rose against the British settlers under 
a mulatto leader named Jules Fedon and massacred without pity all the British 
on whom they could lay hands. Sir Ralph Abercromby suppressed the insur- 
rection fifteen months afterwards. 

St. Lucia was invaded by both British and French adventurers and settlers 
between 1635 and 1674, followed by alternate war and peace with the Caribs. 
The French intermarried with these Amerindians, who, by also mingling with 
the negroes that were introduced after 1674, became gradually absorbed into 

1 Victor Hugues was born of poor parents in France and went to Guadeloupe as apprentice to a hair- 
dresser, afterwards becoming innkeeper, master of a small sailing-vessel, and then lieutenant in the French 
navy. Returning to France, he was elected a deputy to the National Assembly and attached himself to 
Robespierre, who in 1794 sent him as Commissioner to Guadeloupe. He was Governor of Cayenne from 
1802 to 1809. 



the parti-coloured community and by 1700 had ceased to exist as a separate 
people. The island was almost abandoned between 1666 and 1722 owing to its 
unhealthiness and the conflicting claims of France and England, but after that 
date, even though St. Lucia was declared neutral, the French and their negro slaves 
from Martinique began to colonise it in ever-increasing numbers until it was 

A corporal of the British West India Regiment 

definitely declared French in 1763. Thence to 1803 it remained French, except 
during brief British military occupations. During all this time the thirty 
or forty thousand negro slaves became thoroughly Frenchified in language and 
traditions. There were also wild maroon negroes in the mountains descended 
from the earliest slaves introduced in the seventeenth century and much mixed 


in blood with the Caribs. The French also had not disdained to interbreed 
with these two races, so that at the present day we are confronted with a very 
mixed type of negroid in Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent, speaking a 
French patois and obviously compacted of European, Amerindian, and Negro. 
St. Vincent Island had much to do with the formation of the West India 
regiments at the beginning of the nineteenth century during the Napoleonic 
wars. Even now this island furnishes recruits for the consolidated West India 
Regiment. An example of one is given here for the additional reason that it 
illustrates the fine-looking negroid type growing up in the Windward Islands. 

In 1797 a Consolidated Slave Act was passed by the House of Assembly 
of Grenada (? and also of St. Vincent), which was of similar purport to the 
Bahama Act of 1796 (see p. 297). This improved the conditions of slave 
labour. The political constitutions of Grenada and St. Vincent were until 
1876 similar to those of the other British West India islands (except St. Lucia), 
namely, consisting in part of elected legislators dependent on a popular 
franchise. To this franchise, after the abolition of slavery in 1834, negroes and 
men of colour were admitted on the same terms as white men. St. Lucia, 
however (held more or less under martial law until 181 5), was never given 
a Constitution, and has always been a " Crown Colony." In 1876 the Constitu- 
tions of Grenada and St. Vincent (the two islands between them control 
the Grenadines) were surrendered to the Crown and replaced by Crown Colonial 
government : that is to say, the non-official members of the Legislative Council 
are nominated by the Crown, and are not elected on a franchise. 

All things considered — the small size of the islands, the very diverse and 
mixed elements in the population l — this simplified character of the administra- 
tion is best suited to their present requirements, though here and there a grumble 
may be heard from the educated men of colour of Grenada as to their exclusion 
from active political life and the too great preponderance in the Government of the 
white official element. 

In 1778 a French colonist resident in Grenada, Monsieur Roume de St. 
Laurent, paid a visit to TRINIDAD, and was so struck by its many and great 
natural resources and the extraordinary fertility of the soil that he decided not 
only to settle in the island himself, but to do all he could to induce his country- 
men and others to follow his example. The result of his efforts was a scheme 
of colonisation which was approved by the Court of Spain and chartered at 
Madrid on the 24th November, 1783. A new Spanish Governor, Don Jose 
Maria Chacon (speaking both French and English), was sent out to Trinidad 
in 17S4 to put the new charter (printed simultaneously in Spanish, French, and 
English) into circulation and operation. The result of this liberal action on 
the part of Spain was the colonisation of Trinidad up to 1789 by nearly 1 1,000 

1 In St. Lucia there are now about 55,000 people, composed of 50,000 negroes and negroids, some 
Soo East Indian kulis, and 4200 whites and Creoles, mostly of French descent. 

In St. Vincent and Bequia there are 52,000 people — about 1000 British, 500 East Indians, 3000 
Portuguese, and the remainder negroes and negroids, some of whom are slightly tinged with the old Carib 

In Grenada there is a population of about 70,000, out of which some 3000 are white or Creole, and the 
remainder negro or negroid. Grenada is one of the most precious jewels in the West Indian chain. It is 
healthy, free from hurricanes, marvellously beautiful, and singularly fertile. Consequently it seems to be 
creating a special type of negro — good-looking and intelligent. 

Almost the entirety of the negroes in the Windward Islands are Roman Catholic in religion and speak 
a French patois. St. Vincent is the most English of the lot. French culture, manners, and traditions 
have left a very strong impress on the 163,000 negroes and negroids of the Windward Islands. 



French immigrants, mixed with a few Spaniards and Irish Roman Catholics. 
In 1793 more French came hither from Saint Domingue, and later on from 
other French West Indian islands after their seizure by the British forces. But 
in 1797 Trinidad was captured by a British fleet, and Don Chacon was suc- 
ceeded as Governor of the island by Lieutenant-Colonel Picton. At this time 
there was a population of about 18,000 whites, two or three thousand negro slaves, 
and 1082 Amerindians, the survivors of the large " Indian " population originally 
inhabiting the island at the time of its discovery in 1498. As soon as Trinidad 
had been occupied by Great Britain many negroes were imported from Africa; 
but the slave-trade having been declared illegal in 1807, the labour supply for 
the sugar-planters was very inadequate. In 185 1 only 8000 of the Trinidad 
negroes had been born in Africa, and there is scarcely any survivor at the pre- 
sent day of the ex-slave population not born in Trinidad, though there are a 


few free immigrants from West Africa. The negroes now inhabiting Trinidad 
are immigrants from Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward Islands, and Demerara, 
or the descendants of the negroes imported by the French and British prior to 

In 1823 a series of resolutions was passed by the House of Commons of 
which the following is a summary, and these resolutions formed the basis of new 
legislation in the West Indian colonies, more especially in Trinidad, which 
being then, as now, a Crown Colony, had no elected Legislature to be con- 

1. The flogging of female slaves was to be discontinued. 

2. Effective and decisive measures were to be taken for the amelioration of 
the condition of slaves in order that they might be gradually fitted for participa- 
tion in the rights and privileges of British citizenship, so that emancipation 


might take place at the earliest period compatible with a fair consideration of 
the rights of private property. The Trinidad Order-in-Council which gave 
effect to these resolutions was published and put in force in 1824. Its more 
important provisions were as follows : — 

A Protector of slaves was to be appointed to reside at the capital of the 
colony, there to have an office which should be free of access at all times to 
slaves, whose complaints were to be carefully noted ; the Protector was not to 
be interested in slave property by ownership or management, or by guardian- 
ship of the owners of slaves ; he was to keep the records of the operations of the 
slave laws, was to attend all trials affecting the lives or property of slaves ; and 
in all his functions he was to have the 
assistance of the commandant of the 
military forces of the colony. 

Sunday markets were to be abolished 
throughout the colony ; slaves were not 
to be allowed to work between sundown 
on Saturday evening and sunrise on 
Monday morning. The use of the whip 
or " cat " as a mark of the authority of 
the slave-driver was to be prohibited ; 
onlv limited punishments restricted to 
twelve lashes were to be allowed to be 
inflicted on any one day ; the flogging 
of females was altogether forbidden ; 
and strict records of all punishments 
inflicted were to be kept on each planta- 
tion. With the consent of the owner, 
the commandant of the colony could 
issue licences for the marriage of slaves ; 
husbands and wives were not to be 
separated from each other, nor children 
under fourteen years of age from their 
parents. Slaves were to enjoy property 
rights, householding and inheritance, etc. ; 
savings-banks were to be established for 
the security of the property of slaves. 
The tax on manumissions was to be abolished 
to purchase their own freedom, or that of their wives or children ; manu- 
missions by private contract were to be in writing and made to the 
Protector. Slave evidence on oath was to be admitted to the courts in all 
cases ; and ministers of religion were to certify as to the qualifications of 
slaves to be put on oath. Cruelty to a slave was to cause the right of 
the owner to hold the slave to be put at the discretion of the courts ; a second 
conviction forfeited the right of the owner to hold any slave at all, or of 
the manager of a plantation to hold the position of a manager of slaves. In 
slave trials the burden of the proof was on the master. The Protector was to 
make an annual report of the conduct of his office, and the number of cases 
that came under his jurisdiction. This Order-in-Council represented the high- 
water mark of slavery legislation before the edicts of abolition ; and if it had 
been copied and adopted in the United States forty years of suffering among 
four millions of people might have been avoided. 




slaves were to be allowed 



In 1837 some excitement was caused in Trinidad by a mutiny among the 
negro soldiers of the 1st West India Regiment, headed by a huge negro named 
Daaga or Donald Stewart. 

Daaga was a slave-trader of the Popo country of Western Dahome. He 
had raided the lands west of the Dahome kingdom, had brought his captives 
to the coast and sold them to the Portuguese, when he himself and a few 
companions were lured on board a Portuguese ship, overpowered, and chained 
with the rest of the captives. On the journey across the Atlantic the slave- 
ship was captured by a British cruiser and taken with her cargo to the Wind- 


ward Islands. Here Daaga and some of his companions were invited to join 
the 1st West India Regiment as recruits. They really wished, of course, to 
return to Dahome, but had no option than to follow the wishes of their new 
captors. Still, after entering the British army and reaching Trinidad, Daaga 
and the other Pdpos and many of the kindred Yorubas of the regiment plotted 
to rise against their white masters, and after overpowering them to march back 
to Guinea by land ! 

This mutiny of homesick slaves cost the life of one loyal black soldier, but 
no white man was killed or even wounded ; indeed, Daaga intervened to 
prevent a white officer being injured. But thirty of the mutineers were killed 
in the fighting, six committed suicide, three were shot as a sentence of the 
court-martial (one of these was Daaga), and one was killed trying to escape. 

Since those days, with the exception of a little negro rioting at the close of 
the nineteenth century (due to jealousy of the Indian kulis and discontent 
with the institution of a water-supply at Port of Spain), Trinidad has been tran- 
quil and prosperous. There is a negro or negroid population now of about 



150,000, together with 90,000 East Indians, about 5000 Chinese and unclassified 
hybrids, and nearly 50,000 whites of British, French, Corsican, German, Spanish 
and Portuguese descent. In the adjoining island of Tobago (which has been 
British since 1763 save for two intervals of French occupation) there are about 
10,000 negroes or negroids out of a population of 19,000, the remainder being 
mainly whites descended from French colonists, from Courlanders or Baltic 
Finns, from Dutch and English. 

In Trinidad the white population consists of about 10,000 unstable 
British [who — apart from the officials — have here no abiding city, but keep at 
the back of their minds a retirement to the United Kingdom when they can 


afford it] and a staying Creole population to whom Trinidad is a lovely and a 
permanent home. With the French Creoles have mingled the descendants of 
the Spanish, Irish, and German settlers. The prevailing language is French or 
Creole French, and the religion of the majority is that of the Roman Catholic 
Church. There are now no pure-blooded living descendants of the Amerindian 
inhabitants, which even in the eighteenth century were still fighting with the 
Spaniards. As elsewhere they were largely exterminated by smallpox. In 
1798 there were computed to be 1082 ; in 1830 about 700, and these were con- 
centrated in and around the town of Arima in Northern Trinidad. From this 
period onwards the Amerindians melted rapidly into the negroid majority. 
Negro women manifested a preference for Amerindian husbands, and the 
females of this latter race preferred to mate with negroes, both proving the 
more fertile for the change. 



The abolition of slavery and compulsory apprenticeship was fully effected 
in Trinidad by 1838, and in this same year the British Government was 
arranging in Calcutta with the Government of the East India Company for the 
recruitment of kulis to cultivate plantations in Guiana and the West Indies 
For the first impulse of the Negro in Trinidad and elsewhere was to do nothing 
now that he was a free man. Scarcely a strange turn of mind on his part after 
being so long compelled to labour six or even seven days a week from dawn to 

sunset for another man's profit ! 
Moreover, the natural tendency 
of the negro and negress is to- 
wards commerce, not agriculture. 
Digging and weeding the ground 
so bores the unregenerate, aver- 
age negro that in his own con- 
tinent he usually (though not 
always) turns over to his sub- 
missive women the toil of agri- 
culture, and addicts himself to 
hunting and fishing, to warfare, 
to herding and tending flocks, 
and to trading. He likes a 
sea life, likes soldiering, likes 
palavering, law, politics, preach- 
ing, postman's work, domestic 
service, tailoring, shaving, build- 
ing, timber-cutting, road-making, 
mining, porterage, engineering, 
hotel-keeping, horse-racing, 
quarrying, coal -heaving, diving 
for pearls, climbing for coco- 
nuts, and letting off fireworks. 
He dislikes most of all the very 
work he was brought specially 
to do in the New World — agri- 
culture. Though, if he chooses, 
he can become a very good 
planter and field-hand, can attain 
to much and do much that the 
East Indian may never accom- 
plish or even contemplate. 
But between 1838 and 1845 the Trinidadian negro was taking things easy. 
Also there were not at that time, perhaps, more than 40,000 negroes in 
Trinidad. So in 1845 came the first batch of East Indian kulis to Trinidad. 
They were a success ; and although many have returned with their savings to 
India, many out of the 144,000 — in approximate numbers — who have reached 
Trinidad between 1845 ar >d 1909 have remained there permanently. As they 
bring a considerable proportion of their women with them, they are not tempted to 
mix much with the negroids. In their new home they are developing into a very 
fine race from a physical standpoint, though they are much more backward in 
education — above all, world education — than the negro. But the importation of 
the Dravidian indentured labourer from the Panjab, from Eastern and Southern 



3 J 9 

India, was an excellent stimulus for the Negro. It was calling the Old World 
in to redress the balance of the New. Otherwise the Black man in British 
Tropical America had the White man at his mercy, and whilst the Negro took 
a hundred years to educate himself in true political economy (two-thirds of 
which is agriculture), the West Indies would have gone bankrupt. 

Now such islands as Jamaica, Dominica, Grenada, and notably Trinidad 
(which last is specially endowed with its wonderful, inexhaustible supplies of 
asphalt-making, semi-fossil " pitch ") are advancing towards permanent 
prosperity, because they possess in perfection — especially Trinidad — the right 
soil and climate for growing the Cacao tree. The world's demand for chocolate 


and cocoa, in spite of some fluctuations, is of necessity on the increase ; and 
the parts of the earth's surface suited climatically to the growth of this product 
are very limited. 

Trinidad 1 is a sumptuously beautiful country of 1754 square miles in extent. 

1 Jottings from my note-book on arriving at Port of Spain, Trinidad : — 

The majestic cliffs and pierced, fantastic islands, crowned and draped with forest — above them storm 
clouds of superb shape with snowy, cauliflower crowns and fawn-grey, blue grey bodies and skirts. 
Extraordinary, stagy rainbows, otten doubled, and the outer edge of the iris shading into rose 
pink. Sea glassy, reflecting everything in a softened satiny fashion. The awesome heights of frowning 
Venezuela (Trinidad beside this inky, jagged country looks the happy, graceful paradise it is). There is 
Patos Island, lying under the lee of Venezuela ; fertile in disputes as to customs and contraband, for it is 
under the British flag by a wrench of geographical affinities 

The steamer stops two miles from the shore of Port of Spain ! The vast harbour is silting up. The 
shallow sea here is full of rising and sinking lavender-coloured Siphonophora, shaped like cups with a 
bunch of organs or tentacles at the top. These jelly-fish look like wonderful achievements in Venetian 
glass. . . . 

On shore. Clean, straight streets and well-furnished stores. Electric trams. Stand-pipes with 




It is one of the many earthly paradises which Fate has allotted to the control of 
Great Britain. There is a certain amount of malarial fever, especially along the 


"mistletoe" CACTUS 
An epiphyte cacius which extends its range from tropical America to tropical Asia 

supplies of pure water at frequent intervals. Everything looks very prosperous; the shops remind one 
much more of England than of America. The Indian kulis and the charming costumes of their hand- 
some nose-jewelled women. On the quay there was a group of these Indian women clad in pure, 
undiluted orange robes. Against a background of pale azure, satin sea, and purple-green mountains it 
made a superb scheme of colour. 

The negroes look much as they do in Jamaica, with perhaps a larger element of "white'' in their 
composition and a slightly more Spanish appearance. I like to see them going about selling demure 
green-and-red parrots, a little in the style of pages carrying hawks on the fist. The parrots are all 
docility till they have been purchased ; then they bite ! ! 

Outside the town there are spreading trees of immense size draped with the Rhipsalis cactus, which so 
strangely resembles the utterly unrelated Spanish moss. I looked hurriedly into the Lepers' Asylum. It 
is surrounded by a tall, pointed corrugated-iron fence, but inside there is a superb park. . . . 

On the slopes of the mountains the forest with its immensely tall, white-stemmed trees and lavish in- 
florescence of the lower-growing trees and shrubs— scarlet, grey-white, pale mauve, pink, cream-colour, 
magenta — reminded me of the high woods of Sierra Leone in January. 


coast and in the low-lying parts of the island where mosquitoes abound. The 
land rises, however, sufficiently into hills and even mountains to provide many 
cool places for the invigoration of the white man, and I cannot say that I 
thought the indigenous white people showed much sign of physical degenera- 
tion. They are, of course, a dark-haired, dark-eyed people, because of the con- 
siderable element of French and Spanish blood. But they are by no means a 
negligible quantity in the future politics of tropical America. 

Partly, perhaps, owing to the clearly defined parti-coloured occupation of the 
island by a white race, a black race, and a j'ellovv people (the East Indians), 
Trinidad has less in the way of representative government than any other 
British West India island, though as its conditions are very similar to those of 
British Guiana (where there is representative government which seems to work 
smoothly and satisfactorily) it is not easy to understand the long-continued 
tutelary condition of Trinidad ; except that it is justified by its exceeding 
prosperity. The Legislative Council includes eleven unofficial members who 
are nominated (for five years) by the Governor. Amongst them, I believe, at 
the present day there are two persons of negro or negroid race. Two of the 
smaller towns have elective municipal councils ; but the capital, Port of Spain, 
with nearly sixty thousand inhabitants, is managed by a board of thirteen per- 
sons nominated by the Governor, and including one or two negroes. 

The large colony of British Honduras (7562 square miles), which lies 
on the east coast of Central America between Yucatan and Guatemala, began 
early in the seventeenth century by the attempts of the English buccaneers 
[under the leadership of a legendary Wallis 1 ] to establish themselves. In 
1638 an English ship was wrecked on the eastern coast of Yucatan, and such 
of the crew as escaped drowning settled there and somehow conveyed the news 
to the crews of other pirate ships that it was a goodly country. In 1642 
English adventurers seized the island of Ruatan and held it for eight years, till 
a very large Spanish force compelled evacuation. 

The Spaniards had already started a great industry in timber-felling, more 
especially to obtain logwood, 2 which had come into use in Europe as an invalu- 
able deep black or purple dye. 

For various reasons the Government of Queen Elizabeth and of the first 
two Stuarts were prejudiced against logwood (as a dye) and penalised its use. 
This prejudice, however, passed away, and about 1657 the British pirate- 
adventurers discovered, firstly, that logwood was worth ,£ioo a ton, and 

1 Wallis or Wallace is said to have been a Scottish pirate-adventurer who harried the coasts of 
Yucatan at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The Spaniards corrupted his name into Valis 
or Balis, and this became later Balise and Belize Certainly in the eighteenth century the river on which 
this settlement was formed was called the " Wallis or Belize." But another and more probable explana- 
tion derives the name of this principal settlement near the mouth of the River Belize from "balise," a 
beacon or light-signal : a French term in use among the British-French buccaneers. 

2 Logwood, sometimes called Campeachy wood, is the timber of a beautiful tree of the bean order 
which is known to botanists as Hicmatoxylon campechianum. It grows freely on nearly all the West 
Indian islands, as well as in its original home, Central America. From its wood is obtained a powerful 
dye, which ranges in colour from blue-black to rich purple and pale mauve. It was much used at 
one time for colouring ink and adulterating port wine. The tree itself is always grateful to the eye, with 
abundant, graceful, evergreen mimosa-like foliage; and yellow blossoms exhaling the most delicious 
honeyed scent. When in full blossom each graceful tree or tall bush is completely covered with the 
mass of pale gold or straw-yellow flowers. It is one of the most beautiful sights in tropical America to 
see a grove of logwood trees in full blossom. Logwood is a distant relation of "Brazil-wood," the 
timber which yields a brilliant scarlet or crimson die, and is derived from trees of the leguminous genera 
Ccesalpinia and Peltophornm. 


3 22 


secondly, that it grew in profusion along the coasts facing the Bay of Honduras. 
About 1662, coming from Jamaica, they settled about the mouth of the River 
" Wallis " or " Belize," and also on the western side of Yucatan, from which they 
were eventually expelled by the indignant Spaniards, who carried off many of 
them to slave in the mines of Mexico. But on the south-eastern coast of 
Yucatan they stuck fast, and in 1670 the Spanish Government indirectly 
recognised their right, at any rate to cut logwood, in this region. 

Nevertheless, having got rid of these obnoxious English heretics in the 
Campeche district of Yucatan, the Spaniards made a serious attempt in 17 18 
to abolish the Honduras settlements, and renewed their attacks at intervals 
throughout the eighteenth century whenever Spain was at war with Great 


Showing molor-boat against the shore : this has become the most important means 
of transport in this colony 

Britain. Nor can this obstinate clinging to the political rights of the King of 
Spain to all Central America be wondered at, when it was seen that the British, 
officially and unofficially, were aiming at occupying Central America themselves, 
and as early as 1740 had projected an inter-oceanic canal through Nicaragua 
which would be under British control. 

The Spaniards had neglected or abandoned this eastern side of Central 
America; an J the Amerindian tribes along the coasts of Honduras and 
Nicaragua — 'J Mosquitia" or the Mosquito coast, as this low-lying, unhealthy 
region was called — received the English pirates, buccaneers, and timber-cutters 
with great /riendliness, especially during the eighteenth century. British ships 
passed up pe River San Juan into the great Nicaragua Lake, and realised then 
that it on ty needed a canal of about twenty miles to complete a through 


water route to the Pacific. The great Nelson took part in an invasion of 
Nicaragua by British ships in 1 780. 

Spain made her last warlike attack on the Belize settlements in 1798 ; after 
that, and the treaty-making which followed the close of the Napoleonic wars, 
the claim to British sovereignty over this south-eastern portion of Yucatan was 
fully recognised. 

In their long struggle against the formidable Spanish power in Mexico and 
Guatemala the British settlers had undoubtedly been helped by their warlike 
negro slaves. Negroes were first introduced into this region about 17 18 from 
Jamaica and the other West Indian islands, not direct from Africa. The value 
of a slave on importation was at least £120 — a much higher price than ruled 
elsewhere at the same period. After being trained to the work of timber- 
cutting the value of the expert negro rose to as much as ^300. Men of this 
price were not to be treated inconsiderately ; they must be well fed, well 
clothed and housed, and given good reason to prefer servitude under a white 
master to a wild life in the woods, or flight to some Spanish settlement where 
they would be indulgently received. It was impossible to treat the select 
slaves of British Honduras with the restrictions on personal liberty necessary 
or customary on a West Indian plantation. The life of the woods was a life 
of liberty. " The slave was not driven in a gang to his daily toil, but worked 
side by side with his master, sharing with him the unrestricted life of the back- 
woods . . . performing the noble work of the axeman, which in itself has a 
smack of freedom about it . . . his cutlass . . . always by his side." 1 

During the greater part of the eighteenth century the average number of 
negroes in the Hondo, Belize. New River and Old River, and Sibun settlements 
scarcely exceeded 2000. By 1805 there were 2540 slaves, and 1098 free negroes 
and mulattoes. 

Early in the eighteenth century the cutting of mahogany 2 had begun, and 
the export of this splendid timber gradually became a more important feature 
than logwood. The Spanish Government had never admitted (till the nineteenth 
century) that British Honduras was withdrawn from Spanish sovereignty : it 
only agreed (in between its different wars) to allow the British to settle in this 
region for the purpose, first, of cutting logwood ; and it was not till the Conven- 
tion of 1786 that mahogany was added to dye-woods as a legitimate article of 
export by the British. Even as late as this date the British were not allowed to 
establish any plantations : they were merely to fell timber. 

Great Britain had at different times assumed a right to dispose of the Bay 
Islands and Ruatan, off the north coast of Spanish Honduras. Hither were sent 
in 1796 the insurgent Black Caribs of St. Vincent. [It is curious to note that the 
French in November, 1791, transported to Ruatan the Negro militia or 
" Suisses" employed against the victorious rebel mulattoes of Haiti ; 3 and again 
in 1 8 14, under the restored Bourbons, thought of capturing by some ruse the 
mulatto leaders in Haiti and deporting them to the same string of islands in the 

1 Bi-itish Honduras, by Archibald Robertson Gibbs (London : 1883). 

2 Mahogany — Swietenia mahogani — is a tall, particularly handsome tree native to Central America and 
the larger West India islands. The tallest and biggest trees come from Southern Mexico, and those 
furnishing big timbers of the best average quality from British Honduras. " Spanish" mahogany for cabinet- 
making came from Santo Domingo (Hispaniola), but the mahogany forests in that island have been 
almost completely destroyed. The tree still grows (rarely) in Haiti, and much more abundantly in Cuba 
and Jamaica. 

! These unfortunate Negro soldiers marooned on Ruatan were transported by the British to Jamaica 
and sent back to Haiti, where they were massacred in cold blood by the mulattoes and French. 

3 2 4 



Gulf of Honduras.] The Black Caribs landed here in 1796 have prospered 
greatly, and are extending their trading range actually into the confines of 
British Honduras and all along the northern coast-line of the Honduras 
Republic. The whole of this coast-line down to the confines of Nicaragua 
is much " negrified ' : by British importations of negroes or by runaway 

But although in 1852 the Bay Islands (including Ruatan) were created a 


British Colony dependent on Jamaica, the influence of the United States under 
the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty of 1850 (a singularly futile and self-denying ordi- 
nance on the part of Great Britain) constrained Great Britain to abandon her 
very definite and legitimate protectorate over the Nicaraguan Mosquito Coast 
(1856), and in 1859 to cede the Bay Islands and the control over the Black 
Caribs to the Republic of Honduras. 

Representative institutions and orderly government came into exist- 
ence in British Honduras during the second half of the 



century, 1 and long before this possession was finally acknowledged by Spain 
as being part of the British Empire. During nearly two-thirds of the nine- 
teenth century these institutions continued, and, of course, after the abolition 
of slavery in 1834 and the 
extinction of apprenticeship 
a few years later, the negro 
or negroid inhabitants of the 
colony were as much eligible 
— on a property qualification 
— to elect and to be members 
of the Legislative Assembly 
as persons of unmixed Euro- 
pean descent. But during the 
'sixties the colony was much 
harassed by the raids of 
Amerindian tribes, and con- 
stant quarrels on matters 
of finance and police oc- 
curred between the Lieu- 
tenant - Governor and the 
Legislative Assembly. Fol- 
lowing the precedent of 
Jamaica in 1865, the settlers 
of British Honduras in 1869 
were induced to agree to 
the surrender of their poli- 
tical Constitution, which took 
effect in 1870. From that 
time onwards the country has 
been governed as a Crown 
Colony by a Governor, an 
Executive containing the 
Governor, three officials, and 
two non - officials ; and a 
Legislative Council of the 
Governor, three official mem- 
bers, and five non - official, 
who are nominated by the 
Governor and who usually 
include one or more repre- 
sentatives of the coloured 

In 1880 the colonists be- 
came very restive under the 

somewhat despotic administration of the Lieutenant-Governor and petitioned 
the Secretary of State for the restitution of self-government, but Mr. Gladstone's 



Resembling closely the " Black Caribs" of the Bay Islands 
and British Honduras 

1 A. R. Gibbs in his excellent History of British Honduras, published in 1883, gives 1670 as the date 
at which "free representative institutions" came into existence. But these do not seem to have taken 
a definite or continuous shape until after the visit of Vice-Admiral Sir William Burnaby in 1765. In 
1862 British Honduras was elected to the status of a colony depending on Jamaica, and in 1884 to the 
rank of an independent colony. 


Cabinet could not see its way to granting their request. Since the year 1884, 
the Governors of British Honduras having usually been carefully selected, there 
has been no outward sign of discontent with the present method of adminis- 
tration, which, though it may seem arbitrary as applied to a country of nearly 
8000 square miles, is perhaps in the long run the more efficient and economical 
when the still small population of this region — 42,300 — is taken into account. 
Of this population at the present day 37,000 (approximately) are negroes or 
negroids, about 3000 are Amerindian half-breeds with the negro — Mosquito 
Indians (Waikna) and Black Caribs — or pure-blooded Amerindians of the 
Santa Cruz, Icaiche, Maya, and Peten tribes. Of the remainder 2000 are 
whites or near whites, European or of European descent, a few being derived 
from the Southern States of the Union. There are said to be relatively few 
pure-blooded negroes in British Honduras, the coloured population of that 
colony — the Creoles — being much mixed with white blood. 

There is a continuous feud going on between the Waiknas and Black 
Caribs on the one hand, and the pure-blooded Amerindians on the other, who 
are styled Ladinos, and, of course, are Spanish-speaking in contrast to the 
Carib (who talk Carib mixed with French) and Mosquito half-breeds (who talk 
jargons compounded of French, English, Carib, Toltec, and negro languages). 
But there are also a few East Indians who have migrated from Jamaica, and 
an increasing number of Chinese. It is remarkable, in fact, how the Chinese 
are mingling with the Maya Indians of south-east Yucatan, finding beside the 
evident physical affinity some mental sympathy as well. 

" There is no class feeling here," writes a correspondent of the author in 
British Honduras. " The complete mixture of races has done away with that. 
Negroes or negroids have occupied some of the highest positions in the colony 
without giving rise to ill-feeling. There has been a negro captain in the 

" But we suffer from lethargy, as they do in the West Indies. Our people, 
while willing to take an infinitude of trouble in discussing matters, and 
revelling in polite argumentativeness, nevertheless shirk the responsibility of 
a definite decision. The negro element loves politics, but is badly educated 
and easily led by 'talkers.' The negro here has taught himself to think that 
British Honduras is in all matters ahead of other parts of the world and of the 
British Empire, including England ; and that this proud position is due to the 
intelligence of the Honduran negro. 

"Our local education is only primary 1 and is given chiefly by religious 
bodies in forty-two elementary schools. Well-to-do people send their children 
to the United States or to Scotland to school. Eighty per cent of the coast- 
town negroes are illiterate, and ninety-five per cent of the timber-cutters. . . . 
This might be a rich as well as a beautiful colony ; but some change in our 
present methods of development is needed. We have lived long on our 
mahogany and the supply of this timber is very limited, while past administra- 
tions have taken no heed of forestry regulations or of replanting. The 
labourers are so used to the roving life of the woods, 2 with its liberal allowance 

1 Perhaps this explains and excuses the ignorance mentioned in the preceding paragraph. — H. H. J. 

2 "The mahogany labourers of Honduras are capable of severe physical toil, but prefer to be relieved 
by idle spells and indulgence in feasting and merry-making. They are as excitable as negroes generally 
are, as frivolous and unreliable, as good-humoured, easily pleased, vain, passionate, and variable in all 
their humours and inconsequent in their ideas. They are insincere, and if not consciously untruthful are 
given to great exaggeration in their statements. . . . The labourers care chiefly for rum, music, dancing, 


of holidays — a month to six weeks at Christmas ! — that they dislike settling - 
down to agriculture It will therefore be necessary to import field labour from 
some other source, probably East Indian kulis. Much of the coast country is 
extremely fertile." 

The writer goes on to advocate the creation in British Honduras of con- 
siderable colonies of East Indians. 

Nevertheless, though the Honduran negroes or negroids shirk agriculture — 
as the negro of the passing generation does everywhere — this particular type, 
the new Honduran, is very intelligent if given a chance of becoming well 
educated. But as a rule educated Hondurans do better for themselves outside 
British Honduras, mostly in Louisiana, Texas, and the Greater Antilles. 

One coloured citizen of this colony by birth is Dr. Ernest Lyon, the present 
United States Minister-Resident in Liberia, at one time a schoolmaster and 
a member of the Baptist ministry. But he received the education which 
permitted him to occupy such positions in the United States ; where, of course, 
the mulatto or negro — however he may be maltreated socially — has a splendid 
education offered him at very little cost. Several of the Honduran negroes 
have received medical diplomas enabling them to practise as physicians. 

The Honduran police force and volunteers are nearly entirely composed of 
negroes and negroids with white officers. 

Though the British and French had often attempted, as one of the episodes 
of warfare raging in America, to occupy Dutch GUI.A.NA wholly or in part, 
neither of these Powers did more than hold for a short time the Dutch settle- 
ments west of the Corantyn River. But these temporary occupations of the 
Dutch Chartered Company's possessions did much to upset the conditions of 
slavery. After the Peace of 1783 the Dutch Government took a more direct 
interest in the management and government of these regions, in anticipation 
of the time when the charter of the New West India Company would come 
to a close and not be renewed. In October, 1784, the reorganised Dutch 
Government of the colonies of Essequibo and Demerara issued regulations for 
the treatment of servants and slaves. As regards the latter, the punishment 
of flogging was to be restricted to twenty-five lashes at any one time and " not 
to be inflicted until the offender had been laid on his face and tied between 
four stakes.'' Slaves were to be properly supplied with provisions, and ground 
on which they might plant. They might be allowed to dance once a month, 
but not later than two o'clock in the morning. "If any one wanted to place 
the head of a negro suicide on a pole, as a deterrent to others," he was to 
apply to the nearest authority, the Burgher officer. It was forbidden to work 
slaves on Sundays and holidays ; negroes were not to be allowed to sing their 
usual songs on board vessels where there were whites, on pain of arbitrary 
correction, etc. 

and sexual pleasures. Their wants are easily supplied. Their dwellings are little better than outhouses 
even in the towns ; their food is coarse and ill-prepared, consisting lor the most part of salt fish, plan- 
tains, yams, flour, pork, tropical fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, rice, and maize. Their favourite drink is 
coffee." [Not a dietary to be complained of. — Author.} " Their clothing when at work is a shirt and 
trousers for the men, a skirt and bodice for the women, with a handkerchief round the head. But they 
spend a large proportion of their wages on dress and finery for holidays and Sundays. They are usually 
cleanly in their persons and habits. They are healthy and active, yet when an infectious disease is 
introduced the mortality amongst them is very high, as they 'crumple up' at once and are without the 
resisting power of the tougher European. They are not so superstitious as the average West Indian 
negro ; and this in spite of education being singularly backward among these timber-cutters and 
peasants."— From another correspondent. 



This ordinance was received with anger and contempt by the Dutch 
planters (because it was considered too mild); and apparently it was not 
vigorously enforced. 

Already the western part of Dutch Guiana had become very English, partly 
owing to the British occupation of 1781, partly to the throwing open of these 
regions by the Company for general settlement in 1730 and the consequent 
attraction thither of English, Scottish, and Anglo-American planters. The 
English language seems to have been more used by the negroes than Dutch 
or French, and in the latter part of the eighteenth century, newspapers, 
pasquinades, and public notices were, as often as not, printed in English. 

In 1792 the charter of the Dutch West India Company came to an end, 
and for three years Dutch Commissioners introduced considerable improvements 
into the government of all Guiana. But all this time the Bush negroes were 

increasing in numbers and constantly attacking 
the planters' settlements. 

The invasion of Holland by France precipi- 
tated the long-contemplated action of the British 
Government, who after the great American War 
of 1777-83 had made up its mind on two points : 
that it wanted the Cape of Good Hope and the 
rivers of Guiana. In May, 1795, a British naval 
force appeared off the Demerara River. Soon 
afterwards the Bush negroes rose. The Dutch 
enlisted slaves and Amerindians, and after one 
or two serious disasters in which the Dutch 
troops were cut to pieces, this mixed force (in 
which a Scottish officer took a prominent place) 
succeeded in inflicting severe punishment on 
the Bush negroes. Thirteen of these who were 
taken prisoners were broken on the wheel, and 
one of their leading chiefs was burnt at the stake 
" with the horrible accompaniment of having his 
flesh pinched out with red-hot tongs." But in 
1796 a force under Sir Ralph Abercromby took 
possession of Demerara, practically with the 
agreement of the local Dutch authorities, who yielded to overwhelming force, 
and soon afterwards the whole of Dutch Guiana was in the possession of 
the British. Between 1796 and 1801 the British seem to have pacified the 
slaves of Dutch Guiana by kindlier treatment, and as every one believed that 
the British occupation would be permanent and that there was increased 
security for order and good government, large numbers of slaves were 
brought over from Africa. But after the Peace of Amiens the British forces 
evacuated all Guiana, one of the conditions of that treaty being that the Dutch 
settlements were to be nominally restored to Holland, but that the French 
Colony of Cayenne was to be allowed to extend its hinterland behind Surinam 
and Demerara to the Essequibo River : in other words, Napoleon intended 
eventually to secure for France the whole of Guiana, probably up to the 
Orinoco River. 1 

However, this withdrawal did not last long, for in advance of the formal 

1 So that through his insane ambition in the Old World he lost the one possible chance of making 
France a great South American power. 



Half Amerindian, quarter Dutch, 
quarter Negro 



declaration of war in 1803 in the West Indies against France and Holland, the 
British forces had once more taken possession of the Dutch colonies, and 
although the region that is now called Surinam was restored to Holland in 
18 14, the colonies of " Demerary," Essequibo, and Berbice were purchased from 
the Dutch and united to form the colony of British Guiana, which by 
subsequent extension westwards and southwards over a no-man's-land now 
covers an area of 90,277 square miles [or nearly 3000 square miles larger than 
the whole of Great Britain]. 

In 1823 a great ferment began amongst the negro slaves in what was now 
British Guiana. They had heard through the conversation of their masters of 
the great Anti-Slavery agitation being carried on in London, and of the 
1823 resolutions of the House of Commons as to the better treatment of 
slaves. Moreover, from the beginning of the nineteenth century, missionaries 

of the London Missionary Society had come out _ 

to British Guiana as they had gone to Cape 
Colony ; and in both directions they had taken 
up the cause of the Negro. 

One of their missionaries in Guiana was the 
Rev. John Smith, who had established a chapel 
and attracted a large slave congregation, to 
whom he talked vaguely, but strenuously, of the 
approach of a time when they might all be free. 
Gradually the idea spread amongst the negroes 
of the coast region of British Guiana that King 
George IV had ordered their freedom, but that 
the planters kept this order from their know- 
ledge and refused to carry it out. The result 
was a slave insurrection, in which two or three 
white men lost their lives, and some houses were 
burnt and property destroyed. As a matter 
of fact, the remarkable feature of this out- 
break was the loyalty of many of the slaves ° game asNoTaSs 
to their masters and mistresses, and the way 

in which even when the large bands of armed negroes were temporarily 
victorious they refrained from pushing their victory to the extent of 
murdering any of the white people in their possession. However, the 
Governor took prompt measures with the military and naval forces at 
his command (being also helped by loyal Amerindians), 1 put down the revolt, 
executed a number of prisoners by hanging, issued a proclamation to appease 
the slaves still in rebellion, and arrested the Rev. John Smith. To overawe 
the negroes who did not join in the revolt, the bodies of rebels after execution 
were hung in chains, or were decapitated and their heads stuck about on poles 
in the towns and on the plantations. 

The Rev. John Smith was tried by court-martial, and on the 24th November, 
1823, was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. As far as can be ascer- 
tained, no clear evidence of any kind was brought forward to involve Smith in 
any complicity with this nearly bloodless revolt against servitude ; the utmost 
that could be alleged against him with truth being that by his preaching, and 

1 It is noteworthy through a century and a half of Guiana history how often the Amerindian tribes, 
especially the Caribs, came to the assistance of the whites to enable them to keep the negroes under 





perhaps writing, he had led the negroes to believe that a day was coming when 
they would obtain their freedom at the hands of the British Government. 

Fortunately, the death sentence of the court was accompanied by a recom- 
mendation to mercy, and still more fortunately the Governor of the colony 
was not an Eyre. General John Murray submitted the minutes of the trial 
and the sentence for the consideration of the Crown, but meanwhile the Rev. 
John Smith died in prison on the 6th February, 1824, from tuberculosis. He 
had long been sickly, but it was alleged by his brother missionaries that his 
death was hastened by the agitation of the trial and his treatment in prison. 

The British Government, alarmed at the ferment amongst the slaves in 
Guiana and other parts of British America, made statements in Parliament 
and issued royal proclamations in 1824 denying rather ambiguously that 
measures for a general emancipation were under consideration, and enjoining 

on the slaves that they should render due obedi- 
ence to their masters and entire submission to 
the laws. 

In 1 83 1 the three separate colonies of 
Demerara, Berbice, and Essequibo were united 
into the one colony of British Guiana; in 1834 
the status of slavery was abolished by law, as 
elsewhere in British America, and by 1838 even 
apprenticeship had come to an end. In that 
year it became necessary to import kuli labour 
from India to work on the Guiana sugar-planta- 
tions in lieu of the negroes, who, now being 
masters of their own actions, turned away from 
field labour with disgust, except so far as to 
cultivate their own plots of land and supply 
themselves with food -stuffs. In 1853 Chinese 
labourers were introduced in addition to the 
kuli traffic. About this time also there began 
to arrive numerous Portuguese settlers. 

This colony possessed representative insti- 
tutions even under the Dutch, and these were 
guaranteed and continued from the first British occupation. As amended 
by the Act of 1891, the Legislature known as the Combined Court has 
the power of imposing the colonial taxes and auditing the public accounts, 
and discussing freely and without reserve the items of the annual estimates 
prepared by the Governor in Executive Council. A kind of senate exists 
under the name of " the Court of Policy," which consists of the Governor, seven 
official or ex-officio members, and eight elected members. These members and 
the additional financial representatives of the people, which together with 
the Court of Policy form the Combined Court or General Legislature, are 
elected by the direct vote of the people on a franchise limited to males over 
twenty-one years of age (British subjects or naturalised subjects), and based on 
a property qualification, but without any conditions of literacy, race, or colour. 
The qualification of a membership of the Court of Policy or of the Combined 
Court is likewise the possession of property combined with the status of 
British citizenship or British naturalisation. There are therefore no race or 
colour disabilities in the Constitution of British Guiana ; therefore nothing 
but the preliminary condition of possessing a reasonable amount of property 

Quarter Negro, three-quarter Amerindian 


prevents the negro from electing or being elected to membership of the Guiana 
Parliament. 1 As a matter of fact, half the number of seats in the Legislature 
are held to-day by negroes or negroids ; and the negro element wields much 
power in the Guiana State, yet cannot be said down to the present time to 
have abused his position. 

In British Guiana, both under Dutch and British rule, the Amerindians 
were well treated, and if they have diminished in numbers to any extent it 
was not in any way the fault of the Europeans, but of some inherent 
want of racial stamina. As in Brazil, they now seem to be recovering, 
and their birth-rate is high. The early Dutch settlers married Amer- 
indian wives, and there is a considerable riverside population, called the 
" Bovianders," of sturdy half-castes derived from these unions. At no time, 
apparently, has there been any racial prejudice against these unions or the 
half-caste results. The mother of George Augustus Sala is said to have been 
the daughter of an Amerindian Guiana chief, and the naturalist Waterton 
married an Amerindian half-caste. Male Amerindians of Guiana are some- 
times described' 2 as selfish, grasping, improvident, lazy, sullen, and revengeful, 
though not hasty in temper. But they are usually inoffensive, capable of great 
endurance in work if they work at all, though still unfortunately much addicted 
to intoxication from native-made alcohol {piwarri), which when persisted in 
"ives them a serious disease of the intestines. 

Whilst slavery prevailed in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nine- 
teenth centuries the Amerindians of Guiana were subsidised by the Dutch and 
British to assist in capturing runaway negro slaves, and in consequence a deep- 
set ill-feeling has grown up between Amerindians and Negroes. Nevertheless, 
there has been much racial intermixture between the two in the interior 

1 " By the constitution of 1891 direct representation in the Legislative Council has been granted to 
people who have shown eagerness to avail themselves of their privileges. For the first time in its history 
the Court of Policy in 1894 was entered by a pure-blooded African, who as representative for his native 
country filled his place with modesty and dignity. Once grant the principle of representation, and its 
logical outcome must be a preponderance of the coloured element in the Legislative Assembly. The 
African races are more numerous than any other, as they number more than half the whole population of 
the Colony. The East Indians come next in point of numbers, and ought to be represented by some 
educated babu ; whilst the Portuguese, who although not very numerous have a large pecuniary stake in 
the Colony, should endeavour to obtain the election of one of their number to champion their particular 
interests in the Chamber." (Twenty-Jive Years in British Guiana, pp. 286, 287, by Henry Kirke, m.a., 
B.c.L., Oxon. Formerly Sheriff of Demerara.) 

The property qualifications for the suffrage and the membership of the Court of Policy and Financial 
Representatives are rather high for America. 

Voters (if they live in the country) must own three acres of land under cultivation, or be tenants of not 
less than six acres under cultivation, or own a house worth £10 a year, or occupy a house worth ^40 a 
year, or have an annual income of ^"ioo, or have paid direct taxes of at least £\ 3s. 4d. for at 
least a year previous to registration, and have resided in the district at least six months. In 
the towns the qualification is ownership of a house worth at least ^104 3s. 4d. (one would think 
legists who fix these quaint odd sums must be suffering from a perverted sense of humour), or occu- 
pation of a house on a rental of £2.$ a year or an annual income of ,£100 coupled with residence in the 
town, or residence and payment of a year's previous taxes of at least £4 3s. 4d. 

1 suppose these totals of pounds, shillings, and pence instead of plain pounds are intended to be a 
further arithmetic test ! 

There are at the present time about 3100 registered electors throughout British Guiana. 

The qualification for membership as above is to own 80 acres of land of which at least 40 are under 
cultivation, or to own property worth ^1562 10s. , or a house, etc., worth an annual rental of ^250. If 
you wish to be eligible for a Financial Representative you must in addition to all this possess a clear 
annual income of at least ^300. 

2 Mr. A. E. Aspinall in his excellent West Indian Pocket Guide (Stanford) gives a much more sympa- 
thetic description of the Carib on page 93. The great authority on the Amerindians of Guiana is Sir 
Everard Im Thurn, G.C.M.G., now Governor of Fiji. 

33 2 


parts of British Guiana. But under normal circumstances the Amerindian 
[though he or she exhibits no repugnance to an association with either the 
European or the East Indian] detests and despises the Negro. The East 
Indian kulis sometimes intermarry with the Amerindians, and the result is 
quite a handsome type of humanity. 

When, in 1853, the first attempt was made to introduce Chinese labourers into 
British Guiana, instead of a respectable class of labourer being recruited, the 
Chinese Government officials sent prisoners from the jails, beggars, and vile 
persons. But in later attempts (1859 and subsequently) a very good class 


of Chinese kuli was imported, and many of these after their arrival not only 
became Christians, but have remained such, and constitute a sound element 
in the Guianan policy. 

The Negroes are afraid of the Chinese, and do not behave to them in the 
bullying manner they sometimes adopt toward the East Indian. The Chinese, 
on the other hand, without hesitation, take to themselves mulatto or negro 
concubines, and a considerable number of hybrid types are arising between 
the two races, which, as in Jamaica, look like very vigorous, stalwart 

That the climate is well suited to East Indians is shown by the fine healthy 
appearance of the kulis; the men are stronger and the women fairer than their 
parents in India. In fact a fine race of people is springing up in Guiana, the 


offspring of these Indian immigrants, who may, it is hoped, in time form an 
important element in the resident population. 1 

The Portuguese immigrants in British Guiana (mainly from Madeira, the 
Azores, and Southern Portugal) now number about 16,000. 

At no time have they made any difficulty about intermarrying with the 
mulatto or negro people of the colony. Yet perhaps the two races are at 
present drawing apart, partly from an increased self-respect which is growing 
up in the negro community, added to difference of religion, the bulk of 
the Negroes or Negroids belonging to the Protestant churches. The Portu- 


guese, though very industrious, have not perhaps altogether upheld the high 
standard of conduct that the white man should maintain. 

1 "We have now seen the Indian peasant in his old and in his adopted home. Let us compare the 
two positions. On the one hand, misery and poverty, debt and starvation ; on the other, comfort, food,, 
and moderate labour, leading to independence and even wealth. Let any one compare the immigrant 
when he first lands in Demerara with the same man a year or two afterwards. At first he is a poor, 
cringing creature, bowing to the earth before every white man he meets ; apologetic for his very ex- 
istence. You meet the same man in two years' time, strong, clean, erect, passing with an indifferent 
stare, or if he knows and respects you with a hearty ' Salaam, sahib,' and a wave of his hand towards 
his turban. What is the cause of this change? Because the man has found out that he is some one ; 
that he has a value and position of his own ; that in the eyes of the law no one is better than he ; because 
he is free from debt, and making money. All these things combine to make him hold up his head, and 
give a spring to his step. But I will go further than this, and say that the position of the Indian immi- 
grant in Guiana can be compared favourably with the position of the agricultural labourer in the Southern 
Counties of England." (Henry Kirke, 1898, Twenty-five Years in British Guiana.) 



Writers on British Guiana usually discriminate between the " Creole " 
negroes, who are descended from the former slaves, imported or smuggled into 
the country down to 1824, and the free African immigrants who have entered 
the colony much more recently, have, in fact, been born in Africa. Amongst 
these there are a number of Krumen, engaged chiefly in seafaring or seaside 
occupations, and easily identified by their chipped upper incisor teeth and 
"blue" noses. The other "African" negroes are obviously wanting in educa- 
tion compared to those born in the colony, but they are more useful in 

The Negroes indigenous to British Guiana are a fine race physically, and in 
size above the average not only of the East Indians, Chinese, and Amerindians, 
but of the Europeans, while the women (as is often the case in America) are 
nearly as big and powerful as the men. They are accused racially of 

petty dishonesty, but in faithfulness and devoted 
affection towards Europeans are superior £0 any 
other race in the colony. They are improvident, 
somewhat inclined to drunkenness, but very 
good-tempered and seldom revengeful. They 
are stated to be entirely " unmoral " in their 
sexual relations, but to be less inclined now 
to unite with low-class Europeans. They have 
no sexual dislike for the East Indians, but the 
natives of India, on the other hand, have the 
greatest antipathy for the blacks, and there is 
probably little sexual intermixture of the races 
for this reason. An Indian kuli would ordinarily 
prefer to live unmarried sooner than cohabit with 
a negress : they are not perhaps so squeamish 
about marriage with mulattoes. 

The Negro surnames in Guiana are often 
ridiculous and inappropriate, being derived from 
old Slavery days, when they either took the 
patronymic of their estate master or proprietor 
— -possibly some name great in the annals of 
England, or one thrust upon them by their facetious owner, such as Adonis, 
Hercules, Napoleon. 1 

Elementary education seems to be well advanced among the negro and 
coloured population of British Guiana. It is said among those of the present 
generation between the ages of ten and thirty at least 85 per cent can read and 

No school for negroes existed in this colony until 1824, when as a result of 
the 1823 House of Commons' Resolutions two free schools for boys and girls 
were started in Georgetown, Demerara. 

The first Colonial Government grant for public education was ,£130 given 
in 1830. In 1834 the "Lady Mico Charity" (referred to on page 271) estab- 

1 " There are a large number of highly educated black or coloured people who, except in colour, differ 
not at all from a similar class in England or Scotland. Some of the black barristers who practise in our 
courts are singularly polite and courteous in word and manner. Of course there are others somewhat the 
reverse, but none of them worse than the coarse, brow-beating practitioner at the Old Bailey. ... As a 
race the Negro is much more courteous than the Briton. The coarseness and brutality of the miner and 
labourer of Briton are absent, and his manners and language are generally pleasing and decorous." 
(Henry Kirke, in Twenty-five Years in British Guiana.) 



Three-quarter Negro, quarter Chinese 


lished six schools in different parts of the colony. By 1840 there were seventy- 
four denominational schools conducted by the Church of England, the 
Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Congregationalists, and Baptists, which had a roll of 
nearly five thousand negro scholars and received a Government grant-in-aid 
of £3159. 

In 1876 an admirable Education Ordinance was passed by the Legislature 
and brought into force. By this attendance at school was made compulsory 
(oh, Jamaica! why did you not follow suit?). Parents or guardians of children 
which failed to attend school might be punished. The employment of children 
under the age of nine was forbidden, and every child of nine years old and 
upwards to fourteen years was required to attend school for at least two and a 
half hours each day the school was open. The establishment of private indus- 
trial schools was authorised, especially in regard to imparting instruction to 
children in practical agriculture, a proportion of the money thus earned to go 
to the child or its parents. This Ordinance with some amendments and 
additions is in force at the present day. 

The following is the curriculum of the Government and private Primary 
schools in British Guiana : reading, writing, arithmetic, school gardens, trades 
or industries, Nature study, English, geography, elementary hygiene, sewing, 
singing, and physical drill. In all these schools there are, of course, no colour 
or race disabilities. 

Special attention is given to the teaching of agriculture by school gardens, 
lectures on agricultural chemistry and botany, the education of native pupil- 
teachers and demonstrators, apprenticeship under the Government Botanical 
Department, and other rewards and inducements. But it is said that the 
Guianan negro still shows himself averse to tilling and planting as compared 
to other avocations, though of late he has evinced a disposition to compete 
with the East Indian as a rice-grower. 

In 1909 there were 223 primary schools in British Guiana and 32,085 
scholars on the books (a muster on inspection of 27,526) j 1 23,979 were ex- 
amined in 1908-9, and in the same twelve months the local Government grant 
towards primary education was approximately £25,000. Education equal to 
that of a public school is provided for boys at Queen's College, a Government 
institution (undenominational and very highly equipped). The education here, 
though not quite gratuitous (and admittance is dependent on success in en- 
trance examination), is very cheap — in the highest grades only £12 a year. 
There are at present 126 negroes and negroid students at this college, together 
with a few Europeans and East Indians. 

The Government and private benevolence have established a number of 
important, well-furnished scholarships which would enable the gainer of them 
(in a competitive examination) to complete his studies at a foreign university. 
Out of twenty-five scholarships recently bestowed eight have been won by 
negroes or negroids. It is gratifying to note (despite the gloomy predictions 
once emitted by the dying planter aristocracy) that this spread of education 
in Guiana is coincident with a diminution of crime. A correspondent in 
Guiana, who is in a position to know, writes to me as follows : " Crime is 
decidedly on the decrease. The suicide of a black man or woman is nowadays 
almost unheard of, though so common an occurrence in slavery davs. Negroes 
and negroids are very rarely charged with murder or serious felony. The 

1 Out of a total population of 304,549 in 190S. 

33 6 


negro is a clumsy plotter, and is not vindictive or morose : he has more bark 
than bite in him. Since the final emancipation of the slaves in 1838 there 
have been only three riots in the colony, and each of these was carried on 
principally by women and children." 

The daily average of prisoners and convicts in jail or penal settlements 
throughout British Guiana for the year 1908-9 was only 501*26 (out of a popula- 
tion of 304,549). Of these, two-thirds were negroes or negroids. In 1905-6 
the same average was 618*2 ; in 1884, 739; in 1881,958. The population in 
1881 was approximately 252,186. But irregularity in morals still dogs the 
negro's upward advance in Guiana as elsewhere ; or it may be that he is less 
cunning a hypocrite, his faults are more eagerly laid bare by the white 
statistician, and he is also frankly philoprogenitive, and likes begetting and 
bringing forth children. The man is seldom simultaneously polygamous, and 
his consecutive adulteries arise mostly from the innate desire of the pregnant 

negress to withdraw' from her husband's society 
till the child is born and weaned. The per- 
centage of illegitimate births in the negro popu- 
lation of British Guiana was 58*4 per cent in the 
year 1907. 

Some remarkable figures as to the birth-rates 
of the various races in British Guiana have re- 
cently been transmitted to me by Mr. J. van 
Sertima. In the year 1907 the birth-rate among 
the Europeans of "Nordic" type was 13*6 per 
thousand, as against 12*2 in 1906; the Portuguese 
birth-rate was 22'9 (in 1906, 28*8). The East 
Indian birth-rate for 1907 was 24*4 (32*5 in 
1906); that of the Chinese, 32-9 (in 1906, 31 '2). 
Of the semi - civilised Amerindians (Caribs, 
Arawaks, Warraus, etc.) the birth-rate, strange 
to say, is the highest in the community, from 
50 to 52 per thousand. [See page 107 for 
birth - rate in Brazil.] That of the negro is 
32 to 34 per thousand, and of the half-castes 
(mainly negroids), 32 to 28 per thousand. 

Of the total births registered during 1907, 438 per thousand were amongst 
the negroes, 115 per thousand represented the mixed negroid element, and, in 
the same proportion, 360 the East Indian, 40 the Amerindian, 29 the Portu- 
guese, 9 the Chinese, and 6 the Nordic Europeans. 

The total population for 1908 was 304,549; of which approximately 
117,798 were negroes (1413 of African birth); 34.325 mixed race, largely 
negroid; 7500 Amerindian ;* 123,326 were East Indians; 4000 Chinese ; 4,600 
Nordic Europeans, and 13,000 Portuguese. 

The bulk of the negroes and negroids are Protestant Christians and the 
remainder Roman Catholics. There is scarcely a single Muhammadan amongst 
them, and nowadays fetish worshippers or believers in Obia are rare, especially 
as compared to the West India Islands. The language commonly used by the 
Guiana negroes is that Creole dialect of all Guiana and of the British, Danish, 

1 The estimate for the Amerindians is, of course, much under the total number in the colony, as so 
many groups of this people still lead a semi-nomad existence in the forests, and keep aloof from all con- 
nection with the colony. 



and Dutch West Indies, which has English for its basis, mixed with African, 
Carib, French, and Dutch words. Of course, all the even slightly-educated 
negroes and mulattoes can speak good English, much more easily understood 
by a Londoner than the dialects of Scotland and Northern England. 

As has been repeatedly mentioned, the Guianan negroes (like those of 
Trinidad, Honduras, and several West India islands) have shown themselves 
very averse, since the abolition of slavery, from agriculture as a calling, especially 
in the case of the descendants of former slaves. The Negro had such a sickener 
of this pursuit from having cultivated the White Man's plantations for nearly 
two hundred years under the lash that he seems instinctively predisposed 
against this most praiseworthy of all callings. And he has now such a sense of 
his own importance that he asks for work in the fields a higher wage than the 
modern planter or company can afford to pay with the more patient, careful, 
silent, industrious kuli at hand. The place of the negro men, women, and 
children on the sugar estates has now been completely taken by the East 
Indian family. On the other hand, the negro is still disposed to cultivate rice, 
and suffers less from mortality in that most unhealthy pursuit than the other 
peoples of Guiana. 

But it is in the trades, industries, and professional careers that the Guianan 
negro or coloured man comes to the front. He is not a good man of business, 
and though successful as a pedlar or petty market salesman (or woman), he 
seldom keeps a shop in this colony ; in all Georgetown (the capital) there 
is only one negro grocer. As a shopkeeper, large or small, he has been ousted 
by the Chinese and Portuguese. But, on the other hand, almost all the 
carpenters, joiners, upholsterers, painters, masons, engineers, machinists, pan- 
boilers, timber-cutters, printers, bookbinders, and plumbers are negroes or 
coloured men. From this race is drawn nearly all the thirteen thousand miners 
who do the rough work in the gold and diamond mines of the interior. 

Negroes are employed to collect rubber, balata gum, 1 the fibres, barks, 
timber, and other products of the interior forests. They are certainly not, 
therefore, an idle or an unimportant people in the economy of British Guiana. 
They furnish nearly all the police and soldiery ; they or their half-caste relations 
are the clerks, the book-keepers, and petty employes of the commercial houses 
of the towns. They provide most of the lawyers and doctors, the pastors, 
school-teachers, press reporters, several of the magistrates, most of the lesser 
Government officials. In all these posts they are pronounced (as in Dominica) 
to be "just as honest as the Whites." Indeed, in following the recent criminal 
records of this colony one might go farther and state that the negroes and 
negroids of Guiana bear an excellent character for honesty in all serious 
responsibilities where money and valuable property are concerned. 

There is a slight " colour question " in Guiana, but the sensitiveness lies 
rather between the " near- whites" of pale ivory complexion and the darker- 
tinted mulattoes or negroes. There is now practically no intermarriage between 
whites and blacks ; on the other hand, numerous unions take place between 
whites, especially Portuguese, and the lighter-skinned negroids, many of whom 
would almost sooner perish in celibacy than intermarry with the negro or 

1 A substance like caoutchouc, derived from a tall Mimusops tree. 





HE following brief recital of the events and personages connected 
with the abolition of Slavery and the Slave-Trade in America may be 
of use to the reader of this book : — 

The earliest revulsion of feeling in the minds of Englishmen regarding the righteous- 
ness of condemning fellow human beings to transportation and servitude arose con- 
currently with the vigorous development of the African Slave-Trade, in the last forty 
years of the seventeenth century. At first British sympathies were mainly extended to 
the wretched apprentices, convicts, or political prisoners who were sent to the plantations 
in America from London, Bristol, and other English cities, from Scotland, and from 
Ireland. But before this British philosophers had grown sentimental over the wrongs 
inflicted by the Spaniards on the Amerindians ; and had even denounced the treacherous 
treatment of the Caribs by the early English settlers in the Leeward Islands. 

From the idealised Carib or Arawak, sympathy gradually turned towards the negroes. 
It was observed that rich West Indian planters bringing negro slaves with them to 
England frequently treated these slaves with great cruelty .and harshness. As early 
as 1670(F) the Rev. Morgan Godwyn, a clergyman of the Church of England, wrote a 
treatise entitled "A Negro's and Indian's Advocate," based on the sufferings of slaves 
in the Island of Barbados, of which he had been a witness. He dedicated his treatise 
to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was succeeded as an author by many other Church 
of England or Nonconformist divines during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
notably Richard Baxter (? 1675), the Rev. Griffith Hughes, Rector of the church of 
St. Lucy in Barbados (1750), Dr. Hayter, Bishop of Norwich (1755), Bishop Warburton 
(1766), John Wesley (1774), Dr. Porteus, Bishop of Chester (1776), and the Rev. James 
Ramsay 1 (1784). 

In 1729 the question of whether a negro was or was not a free man within the limits 
of the United Kingdom was decided by a joint opinion of the Attorney-General and 
Solicitor-General then advising the Government. They were of opinion that a slave 
coming from the West Indies into Great Britain or Ireland did not become free 
whether or not he was baptised, and that his master could legally compel him to return 
again to the plantations. 

In 1765 a much-mishandled West African Negro from Barbados — Jonathan Strong- 
applied to a London surgeon for advice. The brother of this surgeon — the afterwards 
celebrated Granville Sharp — took up this man's case, enabled him to recover his health; 
and when his former master — a drunken ruffian called David Lisle — attempted to kidnap 
and sell him, Sharp defended the wretched slave by an appeal to the Lord Mayor, who 
set Strong free. Nevertheless the captain of the ship delegated for the purpose by 
Strong's new purchaser attempted to seize the ex-slave by force, and Sharp intervened 

1 Referred to on page 229. 



with great courage before the rather vacillating Lord Mayor, and carried off Strong 
triumphantly, afterwards putting him in a secure refuge. 

He then determined to take up the case in a decisive manner, and eventually — in 1 769 
— after a tremendous research into the laws and customs of Great Britain and Ireland, he 
produced a book entitled A Representation of the Injustice and Dangerous Tendency 
of Tolerating Slavery in England. He rescued various other slaves from re-trans- 
portation to the West Indies, and finally the question was fought to an issue over James 
Somerset, a slave who had been brought (apparently from Africa) to England by 
his master, Charles Stuart, and who was to be sold as a slave and sent to Jamaica. The 
case of James Somerset was argued before Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, who finally, in 
the name of the whole bench, on the 22nd June, 1772, pronounced the decision that as 
soon as the Slave set his foot on the soil of the British Islands he became free. After 
this decision Granville Sharp wrote to the principal Secretary of State, Lord North, 
urging him most earnestly to abolish immediately both the trade in and the slavery of the 
human species in all the British Dominions, as 
being utterly irreconcilable with the principles of 
the British Constitution and the established religion 
of the land. 

In 1776 David Hartley, M.P. for Hull, moved in 
the House of Commons " That the Slave-trade was 
contrary to the laws of God and the rights of man." 
But his motion met with little sympathy, as did 
several subsequent petitions to Parliament from 
English towns. Amongst these was a petition from 
Bridgewater, Somerset, presented in 1785, which 
was well to the fore in this movement against 
Slavery and the Slave-trade, not entirely, however, 
without the desire to cast a slur on Bristol. 1 

In 1785, however, Dr. Peckard, Vice-Chancellor 
of Cambridge University, who had conceived a 
strong dislike to the principle of Slavery, composed 
as a subject for a Latin prize essay the question " Is 
it lawful to make slaves of others against their 
will ? " 

The "Senior Bachelor" of Cambridge — Thomas 
Clarkson — Saint Thomas Clarkson, I hope he may 
some day be called among the beatitudes of an universal Christian Church — had already 
taken prizes for Latin essays and resolved to compete for this one. To fit himself for 
the task, he determined to read a remarkable book, An Historical Account of Guinea, 
by Anthony Benezet- This book contained the sum of the writings and observations 
of the explorers Adanson, Moor, Barbot, Bosnian, and others. 

As the result of his studies, Clarkson became body and soul devoted to the cause, 
first, of abolishing the Slave-trade between Africa and America, and secondly, of 
getting rid of Slavery altogether. But although an enthusiast, his zeal was splendidly 
tempered by judgment and discretion, as is occasionally the case with the great men of 
Britain and America. He realised that the first battle to be fought was over the aboli- 
tion of the Slave-trade. If that could be won, the status of Slavery itself might next be 
tackled. At any rate, if the planters could no longer look to Africa for the recruitment 
of fresh negroes year by year, they might be disposed to treat more kindly and consider- 
ately the slaves already in their possession. He resolved to devote his life to this cause, 


1 Bristol and Liverpool were the great strongholds of the British Slave-trade. No doubt Bristol had 
in some way annoyed Bridgewater — just as Manchester then and thenceforth posed as the antithesis and 
antidote of Liverpool. 

2 See p. 354. 



and his Latin essay (which obtained the prize) was expanded into a book on Slavery 
and the Slave-trade, published (in English, of course) in 1786. This led to his making 
the acquaintance of William Dillwyn, who had been born in North America, but who 
had settled in Essex and had thrown himself for years past vehemently into the cause of 
the slaves, he having caught this enthusiasm from (Saint) Anthony Benezet, whose book 
on Guinea had also inspired Clarkson. 

Granville Sharp about this time was commencing his interest in the Sierra Leone 
Chartered Company, which was to acquire land on the west coast of Africa for the 
repatriation of homeless freed slaves. He soon heard of Thomas Clarkson. Both of 
them now came into contact with William Wilberforce, who after a wild youth had 
settled down into an eager philanthropic Member of Parliament. Wilberforce (after 
one or two others had failed) promised to bring up again the question of the Slave- 
trade before the House of Commons. 1 

The first committee to collect evidence and move for the abolition of the Slave-trade 

was formed on the 22nd May, 1787, under the 
presidency of Granville Sharp. Wilberforce found 
in the great minister William Pitt, a sympathiser 
in this movement against the Slave-trade, and Pitt 
appointed in 1788 a Committee of the Privy 
Council to inquire into the question. Wilberforce 
got this changed into a Committee of the whole 
House, which commenced to consider the matter 
in May, 1789. The discussion of Wilberforce's 
twelve resolutions continued till 1791 ; but the 
Bill to put a stop to the British Slave-trade which 
was brought forward on April 18th, 1791, was pre- 
judiced by the negro insurrections already com- 
mencing in San Domingo, Martinique, and the 
British island of Dominica, and was defeated in the 
House of Commons by a great majority. Finally, 
after one or two partial successes, Wilberforce carried 
a resolution on the 1st January, 1796, that the 
British Slave-trade should come to an end. But in 
the final stage of the Bill the measure was lost by 
four votes. 

Between 1796 and 1807 Wilberforce stuck to 
his object with splendid tenacity, helped whole-heartedly by the Prime Minister Pitt, and 
by his almost equally great opponent Charles Fox. 2 However they might disagree 


1 A good many dinners and social meetings occurred at this period and drew together most of the 
representatives of light and learning to discuss with Clarkson, Wilberforce, and Granville Sharp the 
rights and wrongs of Slavery and the Slave trade. The great painter Sir Joshua Reynolds was an 
ardent Anti-Slavery man ; so also through the influence of Dr. Samuel Johnson was for a time James 
Boswell, Johnson's biographer, who made one or two rather happy remarks. To those who repeated 
the planters' preposterous argument that " Africans were made happier by being carried from their own 
country to the West Indies,'' Boswell remarked, "Be it so. But we have no right to make people 
happy against their will." But with his customary fickleness, Boswell afterwards turned round and 
derided the Anti-Slavery movement. 

2 The details of this long and exciting struggle must, of course, be read in The History of the Abolition 
of the Slave Trade, by Thomas Clarkson. But a passage from the speech of Mr. Huddlestone in 1S05 
deserves special quotation. 

"He asked how it happened, that sugar could be imported cheaper from the East Indies, than from 
the West Indies, notwithstanding the vast difference of the length of the voyages ; was it on account of 
the impolicy of slavery, or that it was made in the former case by the industry of free men, and in the 
latter by the languid drudgery of slaves? 

" As he had had occasion to advert to the eastern part of the world, he would make an observation 
upon an argument which had been collected from that quarter. The condition of the negroes in the 
West Indies had been lately compared with that of the Hindoos. But he would observe that the Hindoo, 


on other policies, great and small, Pitt and Fox rivalled one another in the remarkable 
eloquence and pith of their attacks on the Slave-trade (and inferentially on Slavery). 
But Pitt died at the beginning of 1806, and Fox died in the following October of that 
year. The mantle of Fox fell on the shoulders of Lord Grenville, who by a clever move 
first of all carried the Bill for the abolition of the Slave-trade through the House of 

Finally, on the 16th March, 1S07, the third reading of the Bill was passed without 
a division, to the effect that no vessel should clear out for slaves from any port within 
the British Dominions after May 1, 1807, and that no slaves should be landed in British 
colonies after March 1, 1808. This meant, of course, the abolition of the Slave-trade 
under the British flag. It only remained that this great measure should receive the 
renewed assent of the Lords (since it had been amended), and finally the Royal sanction. 
The crisis was one of palpitating anxiety to the supporters of the measure, because the 
petulant King (George III, not known to sympathise very strongly with the Anti-Slavery 
movement) had intimated that he was about to 
dismiss his ministers over the question of justice to 
Roman Catholics. However, Lord Grenville carried 
the Bill with extraordinary despatch through the 
House of Lords (helped by the Duke of Norfolk 
and all the Church of England Bishops), 1 the 

measure was submitted to the King, and "as the ;7 ■,„ 

clock struck twelve, just when the sun was in its 
meridian splendour to witness this august act and 
to sanction it by its most vivid and glorious 
beams," the King's Commission was opened by the 
Lord Chancellor and the Royal assent to the 
abolition of the Slave-trade was completed. The 
Ministry then delivered up their seals of office to 
the King. 

Amongst those who made themselves odious or 
ridiculous in history by a malignant or stupid 
opposition to this long-debated act of justice were 
the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William IV, who 
was, however, balanced in the House of Lords by 
his brother the Duke of Gloucester ; 2 a certain 
General Gascoyne (who, as usual, appealed to 
Scripture to sanction the Slave-trade and Slavery 
in its utmost extent), Lord Hawkesbury, Sir William Yonge, the Lord Chancellor Eldon, 
and the Earl of Sheffield ; the principal or the most effective supporters of Mr. Wilber- 
force in the Legislature were (besides those persons already mentioned) Mr. Barham, a 
planter in the West Indies, Henry (afterwards Lord) Brougham, the Earl of West- 
miserable as his hovel was, had sources of pride and happiness to which not only the West Indian slave, 
but even his master, was a stranger. He was, to be sure, a peasant ; and his industry was subservient to 
the gratification of a European lord. But he was, in his own belief, vastly superior to him as one of the 
lowest caste. He would not on any consideration eat from the same plate. He would not suffer his son 
to marry the daughter of his master, even if she could bring him all the West Indies as her portion. He 
would observe, too, that the Hindoo peasant drank his water from his native well ; that if his meal were 
scanty, he received it from the hand of her who was most dear to him : that when he laboured, he 
laboured for her and his offspring. His daily task being finished, he reposed with his family. No retro- 
spect of the happiness of former days, compared with existing misery, disturbed his slumber; nor horrid 
dreams occasioned him to wake in agony at the dawn of day. No barbarous sounds of cracking whips 
reminded him that with the form and image of a man his destiny was that of the beast of the field. Let 
the advocates for the bloody traffic state what they had to set forth on their side of the question against 
the comforts and independence of the man with whom they compared the slave." 

1 Notably the Bishop of London (Dr. Porteus) and the Bishop of Llandaff. 

2 The Duke of Gloucester — the best of George Ill's sons— made a most effective speech against the 
Slave-trade in the final debate in the Lords. 


As a young man (twenty-nine), when he began 
to take up the question of the Slave-trade 


morland, Sir Samuel Romilly, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Lord Henry Petty, and 
Mr. Canning. 

It was recognised on all hands that this parliamentary struggle which began in 1776 
with the motion against the Slave-trade by David Hartley and closed in 1S07 with the 
theoretical abolition of the British Slave-trade, really involved the much greater issue of 
the abolition of the status of Slavery on British soil, and this, of course, was why the 
former was so long and bitterly opposed by those who had vested interests in America. 
In 1807 the African Institution was founded in England with a view to keeping a vigi- 
lant watch on slave-traders, and to procuring the abolition of the Slave-trade by other 
European nations. Further, it was to promote the instruction of the Negro races and to 
diffuse information respecting the agricultural and commercial possibilities of Africa ; 
so as to create a legitimate commerce in that continent which should remove all induce- 
ment to trade in human beings. This African 
Institution led to great results both in West Africa 
and the West Indies. 

In 181 1 (Lord) Brougham carried through 
Parliament a Bill which declared the traffic in 
slaves to be a felony punishable with transportation ; 
and this measure, coupled with the vigorous action 
of British warships, to a great extent brought the 
British Slave-trade to a close. And the negotia- 
tions with the British Government at the close of 
the Napoleonic Wars induced most of the Euro- 
pean nations with commercial fleets (as also the 
United States) similarly to abolish and punish 

But so long as Slavery existed in America it was 
impossible to bring the Slave-trade completely to a 
close. Moreover, the cessation of large and free 
supplies of slaves accentuated the cruelty of slavery 
conditions in the United States and in the British, 
Danish, and Dutch West Indies. Wilberforce 
295. sir thomas fowell buxton, and his friends Thomas Fowell Buxton, Zachary 

First Baronet: died xs 45 Macaulay, Dr. Lushington, and Lord Suffield 

recommenced in 1821 their activities in Parliament 
for the abolition of Slavery, and in 1823 established tne Anti-Slavery Society. [Sir] Thomas 
Fowell Buxton 1 relieved the aged Wilberforce of the stress of fighting in the new movement. 
On the 5th May, 1823, he moved in the House of Commons a measure for the gradual 
abolition of Slavery. But the Prime Minister, Canning, saw this measure foredoomed to 
failure, and instead carried through the House of Commons several resolutions dealing 
with the amelioration of Slavery conditions and recommending these to the attention of 
the Colonial Legislatures, at the same time bringing them into immediate effect in the 
Crown Colony of Trinidad. These were the celebrated 1823 Resolutions which took whole 
or partial effect throughout the West Indies and Guiana in 1824, and which, though they 
did a good deal to help the slave, only made his desire for freedom more acute. 

In 1828 the free people of colour in most (but not all) of the West Indian colonies 
were placed on a footing of equality with the whites. But in 1830 the agitation in Par- 
liament for the complete abolition of slavery was renewed. The movement was delayed 
by the contemporary excitement over the Reform Bill ; but when that became law, the 

1 He was made a Baronet in 1840, not so much for his great work in bringing about emancipation as- 
for his strenuous efforts and expenditure of funds to create a legitimate commerce in West Africa which 
might take the place of the Slave-trade. See Memoirs of Sir T. F. Buxton, etc., by his son Charles- 
Buxton (John Murray, 1877) : a book of exceptional interest, for Buxton was concerned with many other 
things besides Slavery. His relations with Pope Gregory XVI and his descriptions of the Rome of 1839-40. 
are well worth recording. Pope Gregory was a keen anti-slavery reformer. 


great Reform Ministry under Earl Grey adopted abolition as a Government measure. 
It was carried through the House of Commons and the House of Lords with little diffi- 
culty, and received the Royal Assent on the 28th of August, 1833. By this measure all 
children under six years of age were at once emancipated, but as regards the rest of the 
slaves, they were required to remain as apprentices to their masters for seven years, 
during which they were to give their labour for three-fourths of the working day and 
were to be liable to corporal punishment if they failed to do so. On the other hand, 
they were to be supplied with food and clothing gratis. 

But this long apprenticeship was displeasing to the Anti-Slavery Party, and was 
reduced eventually to four years from 1S34 instead of six. In Antigua, and perhaps one 
or two other West Indian islands, the planters made the best of a bad business, and all 
the slaves were liberated within the year 1S33. But in any case, on August 28, 1838, 
Slavery ceased to be a legal status throughout the British Dominions in America, Africa, 
and Asia. 

A sum of ^20,000,000 was voted by the House of Commons from the British tax- 
payers' money as compensation to the slave-owners in the British Dominions, and also, 
no doubt, as a kind of " conscience money " in expiation of national wrong-doing. 
About ^"16,000,000 of this went to the British West Indies, Guiana, and Honduras; 
the rest to the Cape and Mauritius. 

William Wilberforce died in 1833, a month before the Emancipation Bill received 
the Royal Assent. Clarkson lived to 1846 (he was eighty-six at the time of his death), 
having had the supreme satisfaction of commencing this struggle in 17 86, following its 
course for sixty years, and seeing every item in his programme carried into effect. 

In the last quarter of the eighteenth century the annual import of negroes into 
America was : — 

By the British, 38,000; French, 20,000; Dutch, 4000; Danes, 2000; Portuguese, 
10,000; total, 74,000. 

Of these [it is calculated by Bryan Edwards], 700 came from the Gambia, 1500 
from the Isles de Los and adjacent rivers, 2000 from Sierra Leone, 3000 from the Grain 
Coast (Liberia), 1000 from the Ivory Coast, 10,000 from the Gold Coast, 1000 from 
Quita and Popo (Togoland), 4500 from Dahome, 3500 from Lagos, 3500 from Benin, 
14,500 from the Niger delta, 7000 from Old Calabar and the Cameroons, 500 from the 
Gaboon, 14,500 from Loango, the Lower Congo, and northernmost Angola, 7000 from 
Sao Paulo de Loanda and Benguela (Central Angola). 

After the Napoleonic Wars were over, in spite of the Slave-trade having been for- 
bidden by several of the leading European nations and by the United States, the export 
of negroes from Africa to the Southern States, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the French West 
Indies went on increasing in volume till the annual average in (say) 1820 was about 
100,000. The British Government took up its self-imposed duty of preventive service in 
1819, and from that year to about 1878 it employed a considerable squadron to patrol 
the sea between Cape Verde, Brazil, the Cape of Good Hope, and Fernando Po 
[besides a similar work off the East African coasts and Persian Gulf, which was con- 
tinued till 1895]. 

Its principal rendezvous in West Africa was Sierra Leone. This peninsula had been 
acquired by a philanthropic Chartered Company in 1787 as a refuge for Negro emigrants, 
notably those who had drifted to England after the American War. Later on, most of 
the rebellious Maroons from Jamaica were sent here. In 1808 the Imperial Government 
annulled the Charter and took over Sierra Leone as a colony. Soon after 181 1 it 
became the principal place where the British Government maintained courts to con- 
demn slave-ships and to land released slaves. 

Between 1819 and 1828 the British cruisers captured and landed at Sierra Leone 
13,281 slaves, an annual average of about 1400. Between 1828 and 1878 an 
approximate 50,000 negroes released from slave-ships were disembarked here ; but the 
history of this interesting colony after 1808 belongs to the history of Africa. 


OTHER northern powers besides the Dutch and English- were drawn by 
the demand for sugar and spices to acquire a West India island or two 
for their " plantations," and some establishment on the west coast 
of Africa for the recruitment of slaves to cultivate the sugar and cull the spice. 
In 1641 a Duke of Courland — the Teutonic ruler of a little Baltic duchy long- 
since merged in Russia — obtained the grant of the island of Tobago 1 (near 
Trinidad) from Charles I of England [who had no more right to dispose 
of it than the King of France]. But the rival attempts at settlement on the 
part of the Dutch made things very disagreeable for the Courlanders, and 
eventually the Duke who reigned over Courland in 168 1 disposed of his title to 
a company of London merchants. 

In 1681 the "Great Elector" of Brandenburg (Frederick William) formed a 
company to trade in slaves from the Gold Coast to America, and not being able 
to obtain a West India island of his own, made common cause with the Danish 
Chartered Company of Guinea and the West Indies. Brandenburg ships from 
Stettin, and East Friesland vessels from Emden (the Prussian Company) pro- 
ceeded to the Gold Coast, where in 1682 and 1685 they built forts (Grossfried- 
richsburg and Dorotheaburg), and traded for gold dust and slaves. The Great 
Elector even purchased from the Dutch the little island of Arguin, near Cape 
Blanco (North Senegal coast), but this North German irruption into the slave- 
trade led to nothing. By 1720 the African and West Indian enterprise was 

The Swedes commenced to trade in slaves about 1640, and built in 1645 the 
well-known fort of Christiansborg, near Accra, on the Gold Coast. This was 
taken from them by the Danes in 1657. In 1784 Sweden bought from France 
the small West Indian island of St. Bartholomew, where with the aid of negro 
slaves the Swedes endeavoured to grow sugar for the Swedish market.- 

In 18 1 3 Sweden abolished the slave-trade as a lawful enterprise for Swedish 
ships, and in the same year acquired the French island of Guadeloupe from the 
British Government. But this transfer only took place on paper, and in 181 5 
Guadeloupe was restored to France. 3 

1 The island of Robinson Crusoe described by Defoe. 

2 This island was repurchased by France in 1877. 

3 Amongst other curious ruling powers introduced into the West Indies and the inevitable slave-trade 
during the seventeenth century was the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, which had become 
a sovereignty in the Mediterranean by their occupation of the islands of Malta and Gozo. In 165 1 they 
are said to have purchased or been granted by France the islands of St. Christopher, St. Martin, 
St. Bartholomew, Tortuga (off the Haitian coast), and St. Croix. Their interest in these islands lapsed 
to France a few years afterwards. The idea of Louis XIV in drawing the Knights of St. John to the 
West Indies was to get them to war against the pirates who infested the Caribbean Sea in the last 
half of the seventeenth century. 



The connection of Denmark with the slave-trade and negro slavery was 
more important and lasting. In 1657 tne Danes captured Christiansborg Castle 
(on the Gold Coast) from the Swedes ; and although they then sold it to the 
Portuguese, they repurchased it three years afterwards, and thenceforth set 
to work vigorously to establish the Danish power on the Gold Coast. The 
Danish West India and Guinea Company was formed in Copenhagen in 1671, 
and built forts along the Gold Coast between Christiansborg and the eastern 
side of the Volta River. 

In 1666 the island of St. Thomas in the West Indies (about thirty-three 
square miles in area and situated at the eastern extremity of the long line of the 
Greater Antilles) was occupied by the Danes and taken over by their West 



India Company in 1671. Slaves were first introduced here from the Danish 
Gold Coast in 1680. The adjoining island of St. Jan (twenty-one square miles) 
was occupied in 16S4, but not definitely annexed till 1 7 1 7. The much larger 
island of St. Croix (Santa Cruz, forty miles south-east of St. Thomas, eighty-four 
square miles in area) was purchased by the King of Denmark from France in 
1733 for over £3 0,000. : 

Although on the coast of Africa the Dane was rated as a kindly master, only 
second to the Spaniard and Portuguese, yet even the Danes went through 
their period of cruelty. 2 In the island of St. Jan, as the result of ill— 

1 Before that purchase Santa Cruz had been Dutch, English, Spanish, and French. It was the Porto 
Rican Spanish massacre of the Santa Cruz English colonists in 1650 which provoked Cromwell to declare 
war and seize Jamaica in 1655. 

2 Besides the usual floggings, cutting off of ears, hands, and legs, and final hangings (when there 
was nothing more to torture), the Danes — till the influence of the Moravian missionaries bettered things — 
were in the habit of "pinching" recreant slaves with red-hot iron pincers, or for heinous offences 
"pinching pieces of flesh out of them." This pastime spread to the United States, and was not unknown 
there in the nineteenth century. 

34 6 


treatment there was a terrible slave insurrection in 1733. All the whites were 
killed, except a few who gathered round an old English planter and one surgeon 
spared by the negroes to dress wounds; and the Danish authorities were 
obliged to appeal to the French in Martinique to assist them in putting down 
the rising. Then when the last three hundred of the revolted slaves were 
surrounded and offered their lives if they would surrender, they preferred com- 
mitting suicide to giving themselves back to slavery. 

Between 1755 and 1764 the Danish Crown bought from the Danish West 
India Company St. Thomas and St. Jan, and then governed directly all the 
Danish West Indies. For nine years during the first fifteen of the nine- 
teenth century the Danish West Indies were under British control — a cir- 
cumstance which implanted very firmly the English language amongst the 
negro slaves. Even now English, and not Danish, is the common speech of 
the islands. 

The Danish slave-trade left this mark on the west coast of Africa : the 
Danes introduced in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century a special type 
of long-barrelled gun, known to the trade as " long Danes." To this day the 
type of long-barrelled musket is in request in remote parts of West Africa, and 
it was with " long Dane guns " that the Ashanti people made such desperate war 
on the British. 

In 1792 the Prince Regent of Denmark (afterwards Frederick VI) issued a 
decree prohibiting the slave-trade to Danish subjects from and after the year 
1802. Although, as it were, ten years' grace was allowed for the cessation 
of the traffic, this action afforded a powerful stimulus to the anti-slave-trade 
movement. It set an example which put other civilised nations on their mettle. 
The United States felt obliged to follow suit in 1794 and 1807 ; Great Britain 

In 1792 the charter of the Danish West India Company came to an end 
and was not renewed, the Crown (as previously in the W r est Indies) taking 
over the direct management of the Gold Coast forts. These last grew during 
the first half of the nineteenth century into quite a large domain, including a 
Danish protectorate over the Akwapim country and the Lower Volta River. In 
spite of the Danish prohibition of the slave-trade, however, one cannot help 
thinking that a clandestine traffic in slaves must have continued from the 
Danish Gold Coast, 1 for when the Danish Government abolished the status of 
slavery in all its oversea possessions in 1848 (especially in the West Indies), 
the four Gold Coast forts and the Volta River protectorate were soon found 
to be of little value or interest to Denmark ; so that these African 
' possessions were sold to Great Britain in 1850 for the modest sum of ^10,000, 
and have constituted since a very important part of the British Gold Coast 

In 1733 there was a slave insurrection in the Danish island of St. Jan, 
which was only subdued by the help of the French Governor of Martinique, 
who sent a force of four hundred soldiers to the assistance of the Danish 
Governor. Otherwise the condition of the negroes under Danish Government 
in the West Indies was a better one (in slavery days) than under other flags. 
The Moravian missionaries were encouraged during the middle of the eighteenth 
century, beginning in 1732, to teach and Christianise the slaves. A good 
example of the type of negro which grew up under Danish rule is a remark- 

1 As late as 1830 slave-ships under the Danish flag were captured by British cruisers. 



able personality at the present day : Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden, born in 
St. Thomas in 1832. l 

The substitution of the direct rule of the Danish Crown for that of a 
Chartered Company did not at first improve the commercial development of 
these three islands, as their trade was strangled by a protectionist tariff entirely 
in favour of the Crown revenues. But by degrees the Danish sovereign relaxed 
the monopoly, until in 1766 he went — very wisely — to the opposite extreme and 
declared St. Thomas a free port. This policy led to an enormous increase in 
the value of the Danish Antilles, especially as St. Thomas possessed a splendid 
natural harbour, particularly well situated as a refuge for sailing-vessels enter- 
ing or leaving the Caribbean Sea. Sugar cultivation covered every square 
mile of utilisable soil on St. Croix, and the slave population of this island in 
1792 must have risen to sixty 
thousand. Not many Danes came 
to settle either here or at St. 
Thomas ; the European planters 
were chiefly French Protestants — 
Huguenots — who were unable to 
live then in any French possession ; 
Jews of various nationalities ; Eng- 
lish, Spaniards, and Swedes. During 
the war of the French Revolution, 
from 1793 to 1 80 1, St. Thomas and 
St. Croix brimmed over with pros- 
perity, because as Denmark was then 
a neutral power, much colonial pro- 
duce could sail safely under the 
Danish flag. 

After the Napoleonic Wars were 
over, St. Thomas and St. Croix con- 
tinued so prosperous that the Danish 
Government seems to have regretted 
its condemnation of the slave-trade 
in 1792, and to have been reluctant 
to add to that measure a complete 
emancipation of the slaves. But 

Britain's action in setting free the slaves of the British West Indies between 1834 
and 1838 made it necessary for the Danish Government to put an end to slavery. 
Early in 1847 a decree of King Christian VII was promulgated by which all 
children born in the Danish Antilles after July 28th, 1847, would be born free. 
Yet this measure was wholly insufficient for the angry slaves of St. Croix, who 
forthwith rose and dominated the island. The Danish Governor could only re- 
cover possession of St. Croix by declaring slavery to be completely at an end. 
Since the year 1848 slavery ceased to be recognised as a legal status in Danish 
Africa or America. But even then, the rebellion having spread to St. Thomas, 


A former Secretary of State and Diplomatic Envoy of 
Liberia : born in St. Thomas 

1 Dr. Blyden went to Liberia at the age of nineteen, and became first a professor in Liberia College, 
then an explorer, and latterly a minister of state and a diplomatic representative of Liberia in England 
and France. Dr. Blyden has also served the (British) Sierra Leone Government as a superintendent of 
Muhammadan education. He is deeply versed in Arabic and Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and is the 
author (amongst many other works) of a well-known book entitled Christianity, Islam, and the Negro 



the Danes would have been driven from their Antillean possessions had it not 
been for the intervention of the Spanish Government, who feared to see the 
spirit of successful revolt spreading to Porto Rico and Cuba. A Spanish force 
landed in St. Thomas and restored Danish authority (1847-8). 

The free negroes now returned to work, and laws were framed to assist the 
planters by introducing a method of apprenticeship, according to which children, 
vagrants, and petty offenders were apprenticed for a term of years to European 
planters. Although the apprenticing took place before a magistrate and for a 
nominal payment, the system was little else than forced labour and caused 
great indignation among the negro population. Yet it served to maintain the 
prosperity of St. Croix as a sugar- and rum-producing island. 

But combined with the refusal of the local Government to allot lands in 

The capital of St. Thomas, Danish West Indies 

St. Croix to free negro settlers, it led to another serious revolt in 1878, which 
nearly ruined the island. Houses, factories, the whole town of Frederiksted, 
and many of the cane-fields were destroyed by fire ; and in the suppression of 
this revolt several hundred negroes and thirty or forty Europeans were killed. 

Since 1870, however, the prosperity of the Danish Antilles had been going 
downhill. It was not merely the decline in the price of sugar or the abolition 
of forced labour, but the growth of steam navigation which has made St. Thomas 
far less important as a port of call for steamers than it had formerly been 
for sailing-ships. The negro population has been steadily decreasing for 
the last thirty years, the young men emigrating in search of better opportuni- 
ties to other West India islands and to Panama. There are now several 
thousand more women in the three islands than there are men. In St Jan the 
population has decreased from 2475 in 183s 1 to 925 at the present day, and 

1 In 1S02 there were 2000 whites, 1000 free negroes and negroids, and 2500 slaves. 


the total population of the three islands (of which about a thousand are Euro- 
peans) is now under 30,000, whereas in 1835 it was 43,178. The population of 
St. Thomas is nearly all confined to the capital town of Charlotte-Amalia. 
This island is without springs or wells, and has a very poor and uncertain rain- 
fall. Yet the scenery is said to be lovely, 1 and the island enjoys increasing 
favour with tourists because of its good roads, its clean, beautiful capital of 
Charlotte-Amalia. its glorious views of azure sea and distant islands and islets, 
its own pretty hill scenery and romantic, ruined " pirate castles " (which, how- 
ever, were really built by the Danish Company). 

The island of St. Jan is used for rearing horses, cattle, and poultry. It is 
the home of the "bay-leaf" tree {Pimento, acris), which is used for making 
"bay-rum." This aromatic toilet requisite is manufactured in St. Thomas. 

St. Croix has a better rainfall than the other two islands and a fertile soil, 
but no good port. Like St. Thomas, it has admirable roads ; indeed, the road- 
system of St. Croix is said to be the best and the most complete of any island 
in the West Indies. 2 Sugar-cane cultivation and the manufacture of sugar 
are still its principal industry, although fruit-growing and cattle-breeding are 
becoming important. 

The present government of the Danish Antilles is that of a Crown Colony 
with partially representative institutions. The Governor is assisted in his 
functions by two colonial councils, one for St. Thomas and St. Jan and the 
other for St. Croix. In the first there are four members nominated by the 
Crown and eleven elected by the people ; in the second, five councillors are 
nominated and thirteen are elected. In both suffrage and councillorship there 
are no colour distinctions. 

It is said that a project is on foot for developing with Danish funds the 
resources of these islands, whose inhabitants will be allowed to elect one or two 
representatives to sit in the Danish Riksdag. If this plan is to be carried out 
and similar facilities are offered to Danish Greenland, we may live to see the 
quaint spectacle of a Negro from the West Indies and an Eskimo from the 
Arctic Circle sitting side by side as Danish subjects in a Danish Parliament. 

It seemed a more likely outcome of the difficulties in which the Danish 
Antilles found themselves at the commencement of the twentieth century, that 
the three little islands might be sold to the United States and the Danish 
negroes be merged into the English-speaking community of Aframericans. 
But the United States by taking up and making the Panama Canal has itself 
greatly enhanced the value of the Danish Antilles, with their splendid harbours 
of Charlotte-Amalia (St. Thomas) and Coral (St. Jan). 3 These once again as 
free ports on the direct line of route from northern and western Europe to 
Colon may recover their old importance, especially as a point-de-repere for 
Scandinavian and North German shipping. So that the African Negro, who 
already speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and three or four 
separate Creole jargons, may have to add Danish to his curriculum. 

But if for no other reason than that they gave the first harbourage and 
support to the pioneer Moravian missionaries (who made St. Thomas their 
West Indian head-quarters from 1732 to 1782), the Danes have played a 
notable part in the history of the Negro in the New World. For the Moravian 

1 A. E. Aspinall, The Pocket Guide to the West Indies (London : 1907). 

2 Les Petites Antilles (Les Antilles Danoises), par. P. Chemin-Dupont (Paris : 1908). 

3 Coral Bay is a harbour of refuge from hurricanes. The port of St. Thomas is sometimes swept by 
these terrible wind-storms. 



.Brethren " were the truest and best guides Europe has ever supplied to the 
.African race," as was written of them more than thirty years ago by one not 
usually enthusiastic about Christian propaganda ( W. G. Palgrave). To the 
miserably unhappy negro slaves in Danish, Dutch, and British tropical America, 
and to those labouring under even harder circumstances in North America, 
they brought the first ray of hope. And it must be remembered that the 
Moravians were supplied with funds by the Danish kings and travelled in 
Danish ships. But for this active support on the part of Kings Christian VI 
and Frederick V it is doubtful whether the Moravian Brethren would ever have 
got or maintained a footing in the West Indies, and all but the Danish posses- 
sions were closed to them. 

Through the intercession of their powerful Saxon protector Count Zinzendorf 

(who had great influence at the Danish 
Court) they were allowed in October, 1732, 
to start for St. Thomas. 1 The two pioneers 
were Leonard Dober and David Nitsch- 
mann, and they were accompanied by a 
released slave — Anthony — from Denmark. 
Mission work was commenced in St. 
Thomas in December, 1732. In the year 
1733 a terrible slave insurrection broke out 
on the little island of St. Jan, and for several 
succeeding years prejudice against teaching 
the negroes was very strong ; but as it 
became evident that slaves drawn within 
the mission fold by the Moravians stood 
apart from the turbulent element and were 
far better workers (especially where the plea 
for kinder treatment from the master was 
listened to), the Moravians grew in favour 
with the planters, as they did also in 
the British colonies of North America 
and in Dutch Guiana, where they estab- 
lished themselves between 1735 and 1745. 
In Dutch Guiana the most noteworthy 
Moravian pioneer was Friedrich Martin. 

The news of the betterment of the Danish slaves in St. Thomas and 
St. Croix spread to Jamaica and Antigua ; and the Moravian missionaries were 
invited by private planters or by the Governor to establish in those islands 
(Jamaica in 1754 and Antigua in 1760). 

They could not, however, do very great things in the British West Indies, 
Dutch Guiana, or North America till all the slaves were emancipated (though 
their educational work among the freedmen was remarkable) ; but in these 
countries under Protestant Powers it was mainly through the Moravian and 


One of the two first Moravian missionaries to settle 
in the West Indies 

1 Count Zinzendorf (see later) came out himself in 1739 to see how the missionaries were getting on in 
the Danish islands, and raised them up out of crushing persecutions at the hands of jealous Lutherans and 
angry planters. Zinzendorf became a Bishop and head of the Moravian Church. He was one of the 
most remarkable persons of the eighteenth century, and really worthy of the twentieth century in his ideas. 
He founded Moravian missions among the Hottentots of South Africa, the natives of Ceylon (both these 
were ultimately destroyed by the clergy of the Dutch Reformed Church), of Lower Egypt, Algeria, 
Northern Russia, Greenland, Labrador, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Dutch Guiana, and 



the Quaker that the door of hope was first opened to the despairing negroes, 
who at that period of the eighteenth century, in Georgia, the British West 
Indies, and Guiana, were committing suicide at a rate which alarmed even their 
callous owners. 

The Moravian Church, whose educational work is now world-wide, from 
near the North Pole to Australia and South Africa, from Tibet to the coast of 
Nicaragua, arose out of Hussite reforms and religious warfare in Bohemia and 
Moravia. It was reconstituted as an episcopal Church in 1467, and its tenets 
were as nearly as possible (and are still) based on the plain teaching of Christ. 
Dogmatic formulation of creed counted for little, 
the main object of the Unitas Fratrum (as this 
Church styled itself) being to lead a simple, 
godly life and encourage industry as much as 

During the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies the Moravian Brethren were persecuted 
horribly by the Holy Roman Empire and (sad 
to say) by the Roman Catholic Church. In 
Bohemia and Moravia they were almost exter- 
minated. Towards the close of the seventeenth 
century they effected some community with the 
Church of England, which has never lessened, 
and even as early as 1739 we find an Archbishop 
of Canterbury assisting them to work in Georgia. 
In 1722 the remnants of the Moravian Church 
crossed over into Saxony, where a refuge had 
been offered to them by [Saint] Nicolaus Ludvvig, 
Graf von Zinzendorf,on his estates. Here the town 
of Herrnhut was founded, the centre of Moravian 
mission work down to the present day. But it 

was really the Count of Zinzendorf who founded the true Moravian Church and 
imparted to it that largeness of view and sweet reasonableness in theology 
which make it remarkable in the narrow-minded Christianity of the eighteenth 
century. The original Moravians received by him were fanatical, ignorant 
peasants, who not long after his most generous and ample establishment of them 
at Herrnhut denounced him as the Beast of the Apocalypse. They were 
indeed — as fifty other sects have been from 900 A.D. to 1900 A.D. — half crazed 
with warped study of that dangerous and needless addition to the books of the 
New Testament, the Revelation of John ; and it required the saving common 
sense of Zinzendorf — the General Booth of his century — to turn their fervour 
into the channel of perfect service to man. 


The first Moravian missionary who explored 
Dutch Guiana 


IN 1619 the first negroes were landed in the English Colonies on the North 
American continent. In that year a supply of slaves was being brought by 
the Dutch from the west coast of Africa to serve in the Dutch settlements 
of Manhadoes and New Amsterdam (New York), and on its way thither the 
ship conveying the slaves called in at Jamestown, Virginia, and sold some 
twenty negroes to the tobacco-planters of that newly founded British colony. 

The planting of tobacco from 1620 onwards became a most profitable enter- 
prise in Virginia and was indeed the principal cause of the British " catching 
on " in North America, where hitherto their efforts had several times been 
checked or completely frustrated by inclemencies of climate, hostility of indi- 
genes, and the absence of any easily obtained mineral, vegetable, or animal 
product which would enable people to get rich quickly so that they might 
stomach the dangers and discomforts of life in a savage land. 

The white convict transport system began about this time through James I 
putting into execution laws that had been framed by Queen Elizabeth's Parlia- 
ment for dealing with vagabonds ; but until the reign of Charles II there was no 
great output of white convict labour from British gaols to serve as slaves or 
indentured apprentices in the American plantations. 

Therefore throughout the seventeenth century from 1620 onwards there was 
an increasing demand in the States of the eastern seaboard of North America 
for negro labour. The white convicts when they did arrive, if females, were 
soon married and ceased to be useful as labourers ; and if male, either 
struck against field labour of an exhausting kind or died from the effects 
of it. To do the dirty and the fatiguing work of opening up the temperate 
and sub-tropical regions of North America, the negro seemed a more useful 

The work of tobacco-planting was a healthy occupation, and the Virginian 
negroes throve and were not unhappy in their slavery during the seventeenth 
century. There was little or no temptation to run away because the fierce 
Indians haunted the backwoods, and to attempt to escape by sea was impossible. 
At the close of the seventeenth century, or actually in the year 1700, rice was 
introduced into South Carolina as a profitable article of export ; but the cultiva- 
tion of rice in swamps under the hot sun proved most unhealthy to the negroes, 
whilst it was an impossibility for a white man. Consequently the slave supply 
for South Carolina, and later still for Georgia, had to be constantly renewed by 
drafts from Africa. 

The rush to get rich during the first half of the eighteenth century enhanced 
the value of slaves in North America and incited their white owners to set all 




the work they could out of them. In South Carolina the condition of the slaves 
was often one of great hardship and the slave laws were very cruel. The male 
slaves were almost deliberately worked tr> dearly in the pestilential rice swamps, 
as jt was thought to be more profitable to get several years' continuous hard_ 
labour out of them, than to work them more gently and perhaps enable them to 
survivejo an invalid old age in which the}' would have to be supported at the 
owner's cost. _The result was that after 17 10 slave insurrections were menaced. 
In 1720 a slave plot at Charleston was nipped in the bud and the negro con- 
spirators were burnt, hanged, and banished. But a formidable revolt of slaves 
actually occurred at Charleston in 1740. On the first day of this same year, 

301. COTTON 

however, George Whitefield paid the second of his seven visits to North America, 
and after travelling through Georgia and South Carolina founded a school for 
negroes in Delaware under the Moravian Brethren. 

By 1 760 there was a slave population in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia 
of 400,000. A few thousand slaves in addition were scattered over Pennsyl- 
vania, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey, more as domestic 

In 1770 the cultivation of cotton was begun in South Carolina and Georgia, 
and after the excitement and turmoil of the American War of Independence 
was over, cotton-planting in the Southern States increased enormously and 
created an immense demand for negro labour. A few of the United States 
negroes had fought in the British army as free soldiers against the American 
colonists, and after the Peace of 1783 some of these free blacks migrated to 




Nova Scotia, 1 to England,- the Bermudas, Bahamas, and Jamaica ; and some 
formed the nucleus of the 1st West India Regiment (Barbados). 

By 1800 there were 1,002,037 negroes and negroids in the United States, 
about 200,000 of whom were freed men and women. 

Slavery as an institution had, however, been condemned to public disap- 
proval by the Quakers early in the history of North America. In 1671 George 
Fox, after a long journey in the previous year through the island of Jamaica, 
had denounced to the newly founded Society of Friends or Quakers of England 
the condition of slavery as iniquitous no matter to what race it was applied ; 
and when compelled to leave England by religious persecution, or deported 
thence as felons, the Friends in North America, especially in Pennsylvania 
(1696), Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia (as well as in St. Kitts, Jamaica, and 
Barbados), set their faces steadily against negro slavery and endeavoured to do 
all they could to alleviate the lot of the slaves. 3 With them joined to a great 
extent the Puritan element in the New England colonies, together with all the 
Nonconformist bodies, beginning with the Baptists, who were finding it possible 
to exist independently of the Church of England in North America or in 

The first great anti-slavery apostle who arose in the United States — whilst 
they were still under the dominion of Great Britain — was Anthony Benezet — 
Saint Anthony Benezet, as he will some day be called. He was born in 
Picardy (Northern France) in 17 13. Being a Protestant, he and his father 
were expelled from France and settled in London. Thence Anthony Benezet 
moved to Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania. 4 He joined the Quakers, and under 
the influence of John Woolman became an eager but a reasoning, eloquent, 
and learned denouncer of slavery and the slave-trade. He wrote much on the 
subject, but the two most convincing of his works were published in 1762: 
A Caution and Warning to Great Britain and her Co/onies on the Calamitous 
State of the Enslaved Negroes in the British Dominions ; and A n Historical 
Account of Guinea, its Situation, Produce, and the General Disposition of its 
Inhabitants ; with an Enquiry into the Rise and Progress of the Slave-trade, 
its Nature and Calamitous Effects. 

He had opened up relations with John Wesley and Granville Sharp in 
England so that they might co-operate in the common cause, and as late as 
1783 he wrote in the simple "thou and thee" phrasing of the Quakers a letter 
to Queen Charlotte which probably secured her sympathy in the anti-slave- 
trade movement. But it was his Historical Account of Guinea which really set 
the forces of English philanthropy moving. Public opinion in England after 
the declaration of the law that there could be no slavery within the limits of 
the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland had relapsed into toleration of 
what went on in the Colonies and in Africa. Another crusader was required. 
Benezet's book on Guinea turned the Cambridge student Clarkson to the one 
great purpose of his life. 

1 There are now about 6000 negroes and negroids in Nova Scotia. Most of these were the refugees 
or the children of refugee slaves who escaped from the United States and were only safe from recapture on 
British territory. 

2 Emigrated afterwards to Africa. 

3 In 1776 all Friends who would not emancipate their slaves and renounce the practice of slave- 
holding were expelled from the membership. Mention should also be made of the efforts in the same 
direction (in America) of the Lutheran Moravian missionaries and of the Huguenots (French Protestants). 

4 He lived here with his wife and three brothers, and made a modest livelihood by teaching French 
and writing books. 



Benezet therefore (he died in 1784, a year before the conversion of Clarkson) 
deserves to rank with Harriet Beecher-Stowe as a writer who moved the world 
to great reforms. His influence was not merely confined to England : his corre- 
spondence with the Abbe Raynal and other Frenchmen of far-sighted philan- 
thropy really created the anti-slavery movement in France. The influence of 
George Whitefield and of Wesley (invoked by Benezet) and of the Methodist 
Church which he founded, and which spread so quickly to America ; and later 
on the new spirit of the Evangelical or Low Church section of the Church of 
England; joined forces, politically and spiritually, with the Quakers, Baptists, 
and Independents. And at the close of the eighteenth century the opinion in 
England and New England of all 
high-minded, virtuous, thinking, edu- 
cated people was against the slave- 
trade and the status of slavery. 

George Washington in his will 
gave freedom to all his own slaves, 
and it was well known that he 
had expressed an earnest wish that 
slavery (not specifically mentioned 
in the Constitution of the United 
States) might be abolished in every 
State of the Union. He several 
times expressed this wish in writing, 
and declared that he himself would 
vote for the emancipation of the 
slaves. On the 1st of March, 1780, 
the Assembly of the Commonwealth 
of Pennsylvania passed an Act for 
" the gradual abolition of slavery." 
Being largely a Quaker State, it had 
always opposed slavery in principle, 
and had wished in 1712 to forbid the 
importation of negroes ; but in the 
following year (171 3) the Govern- 
ment of " good " Queen Anne (who 
herself was a shareholder in the slave- 
trade) had disallowed the measure. 
During the first half of the nine- 
teenth century, the Government of Pennsylvania felt unable to proclaim the 
inherent freedom of all persons of all colours on its soil, except they had been 
born within the State, or had been brought thither voluntarily by any one having 
a claim over them. Thus, if a master of slaves knowing the conditions of 
Pennsylvania voluntarily brought his slave there, that slave became free. 
Otherwise, slaves could not run over the border of Pennsylvania and become 
free ; but no slave might be retained in Pennsylvania, as a slave, longer than 
six months. Slavery was also abolished in Massachusetts in 1780, in Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island in 1784 under conditions which did not make its 
abolition wholly operative till some years later. New Hampshire excluded 
slavery from the scope of her Constitution in 1792, likewise Vermont in 1793. 
New York began the gradual abolition of slavery in 1799, and completed it 
on the 4th of July, 1827. New Jersey finished with slavery about 1829. Ohio, 


A typical early nineteenth-century Quaker and 
Anti-Slavery Reformer 

35 6 


Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa were organised as a Territory 
in 1787, and slavery was wholly excluded "for ever" from the lawful con- 
ditions of life. Maine was an offshoot of Massachusetts after that State had 
abolished slavery. 

Maryland was the most northern Slave State of the Union, and remained such 
down to the early part of the great Civil War in 1863. The Federal District of 
Columbia (Washington) recognised slavery as of local validity until 1862, and 
runaway slaves from other States could be arrested on its small territory under 
the Federal Fugitive Slave Act. Slaves, however, were happy in and around 
Washington ; they were so near head-quarters that ill-treatment would be 

The United States in Congress in 1794 forbade the participation of American 
subjects in the Slave-trade between Africa and foreign countries. 

So far as it affected the coast ports of Georgia, that State in 1798 declared 
the trade in slaves between Africa and Georgia to be prohibited. North 
Carolina closed its ports to the importation of slaves from Africa as early as 
1793. In 1819, however, the State of Virginia annulled as much as possible its 
anti-slave-trade prohibitions of the previous century. 

On the 1st January, 1808, the Federal Government of the United States 
prohibited the importation of African slaves into United States territory. At 
the Peace of Ghent in December, 18 14, the United States and Great Britain 
mutually pledged themselves to do all in their power to extinguish the slave- 

Nevertheless, in spite of these Federal laws and engagements, the slave-trade 
between Africa and the States of the Union to the south of the Mason-Dixon 
line went on with very little interruption of an official kind until the American 
Civil War. This was notably the case with regard to South Carolina and 
Georgia. Probably the southern coast of South Carolina was the last portion 
of the United States that received slave cargoes from Africa. There are 
negroes still living in this region (also in Virginia and Georgia) that were born 
in Africa. 

Between 1780 and 18 16 there had grown up in the United States (chiefly 
in Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, New York, and Virginia), 
a considerable class of free negroes or men of colour ; mostly slaves who had 
been manumitted by their masters or allowed to purchase their freedom. Such 
freedmen were becoming a source of trouble to the white community in these 
States, because though not slaves, they were not allowed the ordinary privileges 
of citizens, and being more educated than their brother slaves, they began to 
ask awkward questions and inspire the slaves with a similar discontent. 

So it was resolved by their well-wishers to ship them off (if they were 
inclined to go) to Africa, to create there a new home where they could live as 
freemen. Naturally it was the British experiment of Sierra Leone which 
suggested the idea. 

At first it was decided to join forces with Great Britain and send these 
negro colonists to Sierra Leone ; but the British Governor of that colony 
viewed the proposal suspiciously. 'Besides, he himself had begun to appreciate 
this important factor in the question of an American negro colony on the West 
African coast : namely, that West Africa belonged to the West Africans, who 
were not disposed to welcome any large colony of strangers. 

So the American envoys passed on, in 1821, to the adjoining "Grain 


Coast," and in that year founded the future Republic of Liberia by establishing 
its nucleus at Monrovia. 

The history of the Liberian experiment has been so fully described in my 
book on that country 1 that I need say no more of it here, except to add that it 
did not solve the difficulties of the Free Negro question in the United States 
between 1820 and 1870. Firstly, the negroes in the United States preferred 
life in that Republic (especially after 1865) to life anywhere else; secondly, if 
they had been born in America they suffered from the West African climate 
and diseases nearly as much as a white man ; and lastly, the native inhabitants 
of " Liberia " were fairly numerous and not at all inclined to make way for 
American strangers. They were also too warlike and well armed to be easily 

The Liberian experiment will probably succeed in this way : that the 
thirty or forty thousand descendants of American negroes and the natives 
they have already affiliated to their government may form the nucleus of 
a future civilised, self-governed, independent Negro State; but the bulk of the 
citizens of that State will be of local African origin. 

The outcome of the Liberian Colony has at any rate been too trifling in 
importance to have provided an "expatriation " solution for the American negro 
problem. Nothing that has been achieved in Liberia will encourage the American 
negro and negroid to emigrate in millions to Africa. If he has noticed 
Liberia at all, it is in the direction of deciding more emphatically than ever to 
stay in the New World, where he is — with all his disadvantages — far better off 
than he would be as a belated colonist of Africa. Moreover, in returning to 
Africa, he runs the risk of finding himself some day once more the subject of a 
European Power ; and in these new and great Republics of the West he hopes 
that the lesson of equal rights and equal opportunities for all races of mankind 
has been better mastered than in the Old World. 

Thomas Jefferson had proposed in 1784 that in the new territory to be 
acquired by the United States (especially the region divided into Tennessee, 
Alabama, and Mississippi), there should after the year 1800 be neither slavery 
nor involuntary servitude, otherwise than in punishment of crime ; but he 
failed to carry this proviso, even though in 1787 at the Convention of Phila- 
delphia the majority of those who framed the Constitution of the United States 
were opposed to slavery. South Carolina, however, Georgia most of all, and 
Virginia, less fiercely,* 2 contended for the retention of the status of slavery in 
the Constitution of their respective States. 

By the beginning of the nineteenth century the slave-holding States were 
divided from those in which all men, theoretically, were free, by the Mason and 
Dixon line ; that boundary which was traced by two English surveyors, Mason 

1 Liberia (London: 1906). 

2 As early as the seventeenth century the Legislature of Virginia had enacted that "all persons who 
have been imported into the colony, and who were not Christians in their native country — except Turks 
and Moors in amity with His Majesty, and those who can prove their being free in England or in any 
other Christian country — shall be counted and be slaves, shall be bought and sold, notwithstanding their 
conversion to Christianity after their importation." About the same time, it was further laid down by 
law that a white man marrying a negress should be banished from Virginia, and the clergyman who per- 
formed the marriage service should be subjected to a heavy fine. 

Between the years 1699 and 1772 the Legislature of Virginia passed numerous Acts to discourage the 
importation of slaves. The means resorted to was the imposition of considerable duty on imported slaves. 
But the King of Great Britain, as advised by his ministers, vetoed most of these Acts. 



and Dixon, in 1763-7, originally for the purpose of dividing Pennsylvania on 
the north from Maryland and (West) Virginia on the south. This line in 1820 
was extended westwards along the course of the Ohio River (the northern 
frontier of Kentucky) to the Mississippi, and across this river it mounted 
northwards so as to include Missouri within the area of States wherein slavery 
was permissible. 

This was what is known in United States history as the " Missouri Com- 
promise": a compromise, but at the same time the first definite acknowledg- 
ment of the scission between north and south. 

First came the difference between Pennsylvania on the one hand, and 
Virginia and Maryland on the other, which in 1780 turned the Mason-Dixon 
line into the boundary between Slavery and Freedom. Then in 1787 an 
Ordinance of Congress adopted the Ohio River as the continuation westwards 
of the Mason-Dixon line between the Slave States and those which were 
contemplating or achieving cessation of slavery. This brought the distinction 
westward to the Mississippi. When Louisiana had been taken over from the 
French, the right of Slavery to continue on the west bank of the Lower 
Mississippi had been tacitly admitted. How far northwards and westwards 
was this licence of Slavery to extend ? 

The admission of Missouri into the Union as a State was to be the test. 
Missouri as a Territory had radiated from the old French settlement and town 
of St. Louis, founded in 1764. Under the subsequent rule of Spain negro 
slaves had been introduced by the French colonists. Missouri upheld the 
institution when it sought to be promoted in 1819 from a mere Territory to a 
self-governing State. Yet if it were admitted to the Union as a Slavery State 
it would disturb the balance of power in the Senate. A solution was found in 
1 82 1 by the admission of Missouri as a Slavery State and simultaneously the 
promotion to Statehood of Maine, which had been detached from Massa- 
chusetts. But the chief point in the Compromise was that the Slavery limit 
westward of the Mississippi, to the Pacific, should follow the degree of 
N. Latitude 36° 30'. South of that line it was tacitly, but not implicitly, 
admitted that slavery might continue. 

On the strength of this Compromise, Arkansas was admitted as a Slave 
State in 1836; Florida and Texas in 1845. In both the two last of course 
slavery had existed theoretically since the early times of Spanish occupation. 
But Florida had really been " Indian " territory with the merest fringe of 
European colonisation (though it contains the oldest town in the United States, 
St. Augustine, founded in 1566) until 1827-35; when the whites of Georgia 
calmly, and defiant of Federal veto, removed most of the Seminole " Indians" 
and sent white emigrants and negro slaves to take their place. 1 

In 1822 there was alleged to have been discovered a plot at Charleston (S.C.) 
amongst the slaves and free negroes for an uprising of black against white, 
and the destruction of the whites, on July 4th of that year. The principal 
leader was Denmark Vesey, a blacksmith who had won a prize in a lottery 
twenty-two years before, and with the proceeds had purchased his freedom. 
His lieutenants were Monday Gell, a self-educated, talented negro harness- 
maker ; and Gullah Jack and Peter Poyas, half-savage leaders among the 

1 The Amerindian tribe or nation of the Seminoles of eastern Florida kept negro slaves in the 
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. But it was remarked that they were very good and indulgent 
to these slaves, and never, under the greatest pressure of hunger and need, sold them if they were un- 
willing to go to a white master. 


Angola slaves with whom South Carolina was then being so abundantly 
furnished by the Portuguese slave-trade. 

As a result of the timely discovery of this conspiracy by the Charleston 
police, thirty-five negroes were hanged, a number were probably flogged, 
and others were transported or imprisoned. But the plot deserves mention 
because it was cited as the excuse for the greater harshness of South Carolina 
slavery laws after 1822, and for the sending off as many free negroes as 
possible to Liberia. Further excuse for the putting in force of cruel laws 
was afforded by the great rising of negro slaves under Nat Turner, in Virginia 


t ->*»' 


(Southampton County), on August 21, 1831. Some whites lost their lives in 
this revolt, which was suppressed with the usual ruthlessness. 1 

In 1833 tne American Anti-Slavery Society was founded in Boston by 
a brave man, William Lloyd Garrison. Two years previously, in Boston, he 
had commenced to publish " without a dollar of capital " an anti-slavery journal, 
the Liberator ; and had addressed the world in its first number, with these 
stirring words : " I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — J will not excuse — 
I will not retreat a single inch — and I will be heard." He lived till 1879 to see 
his rushlight grow to a blaze of illumination, his paper and his society terminated 
in their existence only by the full accomplishment of their programme : the 
complete abolition of slavery throughout the Union in 1865. 

1 For information on this and other incidents of the ante-bellum slavery times in South Carolina, see 
the articles in the Political Science Quarterly of Boston, Mass., by Ulrich Bonnell Phillips — especially 
" The Slave Labor Problem in the Charleston District " (Boston : 1907). 

3 6 ° 


Meantime the year 1850 had brought another crisis and another compromise. 
The conquest, annexation, and organisation of California and Northern Mexico 
again raised the question 1 whether the first of the new States should be " Slave" 
or " Free." Congress, with the superior voting power now in the hands of the 
North, decided that California should be a Free State, but as a solatium to the 
South, avoided fixing the " Slave or Free " status of the future States of Utah 
and New Mexico, and declared that the Federal district of Columbia, though 
closed to the slave-trade, was a region in which slavery existed. It also passed 
the celebrated Fugitive Slave Law. 

This Act provided for the arrest of runaway slaves in any State of the 
Union to which they had fled, and the handing of them over not to local 

magistrates or courts, but to United 
States Commissioners and other 
Federal officers of the law. Their 
claims to freedom were to be tried 
without a jury, and when their status 
of servitude was proved to the satis- 
faction of the Federal commissioner, 
they were to be handed back to the 
authorities of the State from which 
they had fled (equivalent in some 
cases to a sentence of death by 

304. JOHN P. 

One of the Anti-Slavery Kansas agitators of 1855. . 
" Free soil, free speech, free labour, free men ! " 

flogging !). 

The next excitement was over 
Kansas (1854-7), which, with Ne- 
braska, was being prepared for 
Statehood from out of the north- 
western portion of " Louisiana." By 
the fair interpretation of the Missouri 
Compromise these new States must 
be "Free" in constitution; but the 
South was getting bold, and had 
adopted the theory of " squatter 
sovereignty," by which it lay solely 
with the new settlers of these Terri- 
tories to decide under what Constitu- 
tion they should live. If, therefore, the South could send men into Kansas 
in excess of the North, they might by a superiority of voting power turn 
Kansas, as New Mexico had been turned, into a slave-holding Territory and 
afterwards State. A regular local-civil war arose and the South was beaten. 

A striking landmark in the progress towards civil war was the " Dred 
Scott " decision. Dred Scott was a negro slave who had been taken by his 
master from the Slave State of Missouri to reside with him in the Free 
Territory of Kansas. Afterwards he was sold in Kansas, and then sued for his 
freedom (no doubt put up to do so by Abolitionists as a "test case"). Of 

1 How bored a twentieth-century person, if he could have lived backwards into the nineteenth cen- 
tury, would have become with the one-ideaed Southern statesman ! As late as iS5o-i they were discuss- 
ing in Charleston the reinstitution of the African Slave-trade on the West African coast, knowing so little 
of the England of that period as to imagine that the British Government would have permitted such a 
reversal of progress. They simply could not conceive of any policy different to their own. All the world 
must shape itself to the mistaken needs of South Carolina. And these were the people so admired by 
Gladstone, Kingsley, Huxley, and Carlyle ! 



course, by the terms of the Compromise of 1820, Dred Scott was a free man. 
Scott brought his case before the Federal Courts, and finally the suit had to be 
decided on appeal in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

The result was a staggering blow to the Abolitionists of the North and 
a signal instance in history of the inhumanity of pedants in the law ; of judges 
to whom the administration of the law is not in the first place the enunciation 

From a daguerreotype of about 1852, just after the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin 

of perfect justice but a fascinating puzzle-game, a kind of chess, with absolutely 
no regard for the feelings of the chessmen. 

The Supreme Court had not been consulted in 1820 as to the Missouri 
Compromise ; and when this arrangement was brought before its notice by the 
Dred Scott case in 1858 it decided that the 1820 Compromise had no standing 
in United States constitutional law ; that slaves were by that Constitution 
recognised as " property," and that the Federal Government had no right 
to forbid any recognised form of property from being held on any part of the 



United States territory. It further put Scott out of court as being a slave or 
descendant of a slave, and consequently not a citizen of the United States or 
having any standing in the Federal Courts. 1 

This cynical and pedantic decision was the real provocation of the Civil 
War, a war which cost the lives by bullet or disease of 300,000 men and 
a National Debt of 8000 millions of dollars, and left behind a legacy of hatred 
between white and coloured in the south-east of North America which it may 
take another generation to heal. It is to be hoped that if any of these Supreme 
Court judges of 1858 are living who pronounced a decision clamping the 
United States Constitution to the maintenance of slavery as an institution, they 
still writhe in their senile consciences at the fruits of their pitiless pedantry, 
the worship of the letter and disregard of the spirit. 

The Dred Scott decision made civil war inevitable. The South could now 
plead that they abode by the Constitution. The Abolitionists in the North 
were inflamed to fanaticism against Slavery. During the ten years 2 which 
followed the enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 (which in its sub- 
sequent operations was the cause of incredible crueltfes, fraudulent kidnappings, 
scandals, blackmailing, and frequent manslaughter), the publication of " Uncle 
Tom's Cabin" 3 in i8j2 ; the civil war provoked by the South in Kansas 
(1854-6); the murderous assault on Charles Sumner, 4 who had made a series 

1 Vet, when it was a matter of getting a representation in Congress out of all proportion to the 
numbers of its free-white citizens, at the time of the framing of the United States Constitution, the 
Southern States had been allowed to count three-fifths of the slaves as having a right to indirect repre- 
sentation in the House of Representatives. 

- In this splendid period of ten years, ever to be a glory in the annals of America, slavery was hotly 
and indignantly opposed by some of the greatest geniuses that the United States had yet produced, 
geniuses and apostles. William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Charles Sumner, William E. Chan- 
ning, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John G. Whittier, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, 
Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Law Olmsted, are a few amongst the names of the 
notabilities who attacked, with risk to life, limb, health, and fortune, the hydra-headed monster — a 
monster only scotched, remember, not completely killed, which may issue from its cavern yet again and 
again at the call of Mammon and racial arrogance. But in the eyes and minds of the general public, 
mostly of a generation now passing away, it will be felt that four persons more than any others in the 
United States (acting quite independently one of the other) abolished slavery. The first was William 
Lloyd Garrison, the second Harriet Beecher-Stowe, the third John Brown, and the fourth Abraham 

; Mrs. Harriet Beecher-Stowe, whose novel Uncle Toins Cabin set the whole world on fire, and 
ranged most Europeans and Americans (outside the United States and the West Indies) on the side of 
the slave, was born (1811) in Connecticut (like John Brown), and died in that State at Hartford in 1896. 
Uncle Tom's Cabin was almost literally true, based on such works as The Narrative of the Life and 
Adventures of Charles Ball (published at New York in 1S37) and on its author's personal observations 
of Kentucky and Tennessee. A few years ago I was taken over Osborne House by a friend who had 
access to that residence of the late Queen before it had been completely thrown open to its present 
purposes. In the library I saw lying on a table, much as it had been left by the Queen before her death, 
a copy of Uncle Tom s Cabin, rather prettily bound in a pink and silver wrapper. Inside on the fly-leaf 
in the Queen's own handwriting were words much like these : " From my dear Mama, Xmas, 1859. This 
book has made a deep impression on me." 

We all know that subsequently, when the actual decision of peace or war lay with Queen Victoria 
(most of whose Liberal Ministers were in favour of the recognition of the South and war with the 
North), the Queen resolutely decided on complete neutrality, moved thereto by the consciousness that 
the North stood for freedom and the South for an impossible continuance of slavery. There is little 
doubt in my own mind that the agency which made of Queen Victoria so resolute an Abolitionist was the 
novel written by Harriet Beecher-Stowe : one of the few instances in history of the pen being mightier 
than the sword. — H. H. J. 

4 Charles Sumner made a great speech on the 18th of May, 1856, against the conditions under which 
the slave lived in South Carolina and Virginia. A senator of South Carolina, Preston S. Brooks, no 
doubt born a decent man, but his mind twisted by the corrupting influence of slavery into the mind of 
an assassin, stole after Sumner till he caught him writing in the Senate Chamber. Coming up behind 
him unawares, he thrashed him with a heavy stick, till he left him for dead. Was he apprehended ? 
(at Washington on the very borders of Virginia?). No. He walked about a free man and was pre- 


3 6 3 

ox speeches in Congress denouncing the " Crime against Kansas" (the attempt 
of leading Southern statesmen to force Kansas, against the will of the majority 
of its settlers, to become a Slave State) ; the Dred Scott decision ; and lastly, 
the pamphlet On the Impending Crisis of the South, by a poor white of North 
Carolina named Helper: all these events and influences bred uncontrollable 
fury in the North against the despotism of the South. Amongst the few 
whose excitement could not vent itself sufficiently in speech or written word 
was John Brown, a native of Connecticut, who had been one of the leading 
fighters in the civil war of Kansas. He entered the State of Virginia at 
Harper's Ferry with fourteen resolute men and seized a Federal arsenal in the 
dead of night, designing to distribute its store of arms and ammunition among 
such slaves as he could induce to revolt against their masters. It was a " raid " 
which, if moderately successful, would, he thought, precipitate the struggle 
between North and South and lead 
to the abolition of slavery. 

His invasion was a flash in the 
pan, for he was soon overwhelmed, 
captured (twelve of his following 
likewise), and led to execution on 
December 2, 1859. " But his soul 
went marching on." 

Abraham Lincoln denounced 
Brown's violent effort as " absurd." 
With regard to its chances of success 
it was wildly absurd, besides being 
" quite unconstitutional." It was of 
the order of deeds which cannot be 
defended by appeal to any man- 
made law, and which, if they were 
not quite properly visited with the 
death penalty, would reduce civilised 
society to chaos. Very often the 
cause for which a John Brown may 
commit a raid or an isolated murder 
is a rotten, a selfish, or a lunatic 
one ; and the raider richly deserves 
his execution. In one case out of 
five hundred a John Brown may be fighting (most irregularly) for some cardinal 
point of liberty, for something which will lead to the enhanced spiritual or 
physical welfare of mankind. If he succeeds and does not get killed, he is 
possibly made a cabinet minister, a dictator, or a privy councillor. If he dies 
he receives, or should receive, beatification, for he has earned it by giving up 
his life for the future welfare of many people. 

The election of Abraham Lincoln was the last episode which decided 
South Carolina — protagonist of the Slave Powers, and rightly so called, for it 
had been from first to last the wickedest of the Slave States — to secede from 
the Union. As soon as the assembled Presidential electors of that State 


sented by the grateful Virginians with a magnificent gold-headed stick to replace the one with which 
(so far as intention went) he had murdered the man who had dared to speak against slavery. Sumner 
partially recovered, and did not die till 1874, but owing to the blows of his would-be assassin having 
affected the spine, he was always semi-paralysed. His would-be murderer died in 1859. 

3 6 4 


heard by telegram in November, i860, that Abraham Lincoln had secured 
a majority of votes in the Presidential electorate and was therefore certain to 
become President of the United States in the following March, they summoned 


a State Convention. This body on December 20th passed an Ordinance 
seceding from the rest of the United States of America. 

Lincoln had never advocated abolition of slavery throughout the Union. 
He merely stood for a bargain being kept. He hated slavery and wished to 
restrict the area in which this institution was to exist to the narrowest limits 
consistent with the pre-existing inter-state agreements or understandings. 
But a bargain being a bargain, he resented the attempts of the South to with- 


3 6 5 

draw from the agreements of 1820 and 1850 ; and most of all he opposed any 
idea of secession. 

As early as 1849 ne nac ^ proposed to Congress to emancipate the slaves in 
the District of Columbia (against compensation); and in 1854 he came to the 
front as an opponent of the extension of Slave Territories or States. Despite 
his protestations of wishing to uphold the Union above all and everything, he 
had plainly said in 1858 that there could be no protracted compromise in the 
matter of slavery : " A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe 
this Government cannot endure permanently, half-slave and half-free ... it 
will become all one thing or all the other." 

As it was incredible that the overwhelming voting power of the North and 
New West would declare itself in 
favour of slavery everywhere, this 
utterance from the favourite can- 
didate of the North, and his subse- 
quent election as the nominated new 
President by the Republican National 
Convention on a " No Extension of 
Slavery" ticket (May 16th, i860), 
made the breach with South Carolina 

War was begun by the South in 
January, 1861, and the gage of battle 
taken up by Lincoln on April 15th, 
1861. Half Virginia, and the other 
Slave States of Delaware, Maryland, 
Kentucky, and Missouri stood by 
the Union ; the rest, from Texas to 
Eastern Virginia, confederated with 
South Carolina. 

In the great struggle which ensued 
the Negroes and Negroids of all the 
former Slave States signalised them- 
selves in history for two things : their 
considerate behaviour towards their 
defeated masters and their bravery in 
battle. They remained quiescent throughout the South, where active fighting 
was not going on ; and although every white man may have been absent at the 
war, they respected strictly the property of their owners and the chastity of 
their owners' wives. Not even in the prejudiced history of the South can it be 
maintained that the negroes revenged themselves for their servitude and ill- 
treatment while those who had held them in bondage were away from their 
homes. Of course if a Northern army was near, many slaves would run away 
to obtain liberty or to enlist under its colours. Frequently they were turned 
back and ordered to return on their employers' plantations till the issue was 
decided. In some cases they were enlisted (if there was a justification) in the 
armies of the Federal Government (though its negro soldiers were usually 
obtained from Washington, Maryland, West Virginia, and the free negroes of 
the Northern States) : in all such cases the negro troops fought under the 
Unionist banner with such bravery, and — if one may say so — such Chris- 
tianity, that they won admiration from their white comrades and materially 


From a print published just before the signing of the 
Emancipation Edict 

3 66 


hastened the day of their emancipation by influencing public opinion in their 


On January 1st, 1863, Lincoln signed a Proclamation emancipating the 

slaves in the States of Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, 
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Caro- 
lina, Tennessee, and certain portions of Louisiana and 
Virginia, giving liberty in theory (and two years after- 
wards in practice) to over four millions of human beings. 
Lincoln lived to see this " unconstitutional " measure 
ratified by Congress on January 31st, 1865, in the adop- 
tion of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution 

of the United States ; which provided that " neither slavery nor involuntary 

servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have 


PATION, 1863 



Adjoining the grounds of the Institute for the higher training of the Negro 

been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject 
to their jurisdiction." 

This was confirmed by a vote of twenty-seven States and proclaimed 
December iSth, 1865, as an integral part of the United States' Constitution : 
to be accepted, of course, by the seceded States as part of the war settlement. 

This action was followed up by the triumphant and dominant Republican 
Party in the enactment of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the 
Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment, which became part of the Consti- 
tution in 1866, provided (amongst other things) for full rights of citizenship being 
bestowed without distinction on all persons born or naturalised in the United 
States, as a whole, and in the State in which the person resided. The Fifteenth 
Amendment gave the Federal and State Franchise to all citizens of the United 


States, independently of race or colour. This was adopted in 1870, and by 
1 87 1 all the seceded States were back in the Union, and had their local- free- 
dom of administration restored. 

Then followed the trying period of Reconstruction. The slave was given 
a vote ; his master was in an electoral minority. As the slave was too ignorant, 
in almost all cases, to come forward as a candidate for Congress or for the 
Senate, the "carpet bag" politicians of the North were the only Republicans 
who could be elected by the ex-slave voters. Between 1866 and 1876 the White 
South, according to its own account, " passed under the harrow," and is sup- 
posed to have suffered cruelly in its sensitive feelings and its property from the 
conjoint rule of ex-slave and Northern governor. 1 It endeavoured to right 
matters with violence. Negro voters were bribed to remain away from the 
polling-stations, or terrorised into not voting by violence or threats of non- 
employment. The Ku-Klux-Klan and other secret societies sprang into 
existence to make the Negro franchise inoperative and to drive away the 
Northern politician. 

A small civil war broke out in 1874 (in Louisiana) which was suppressed 
by Federal troops ; but the North was disinclined to take up the gauntlet or to 
risk another internecine conflict to enforce the strict carrying out of the Four- 
teenth and Sixteenth Amendments. It left the Negro in the old States of the 
Secession still in social bondage, an ill-treated, neglected ward instead of a slave: 
trusting to the sense of justice and humanity which would come in time to a 
better-educated South and lead it of its own free will to make expiation and 

1 For an excellent summary of the actually beneficial results of the conjoined Northern governor and 
negro voter, see the pamphlet Why the Negro was Enfranchised, by Richard P. Hallowed (Boston : 
1903). The writer brings clearly into the light the admirable reconstruction work in South Carolina of 
Governor David H. Chamberlain. 


BEFORE dwelling on the present difficulties yet generally happy condition 
of the Negro in the United States, South as well as North, it may be as 
well to realise his existence there as a slave between the beginning of the 
eighteenth century and the year i860. He was not treated well by Dutch, 
English, or French settlers prior to 1700, but the contemporaneous behaviour 
of the free white colonists and the European officials towards the white convicts, 
apprentices, and religious dissidents, and towards the Amerindian aborigines, 
was so bad that their demeanour with the African slave attracts no special 

We have already seen 1 that the State of Virginia as early as about 1680 
showed a determination to retain the negro in slavery, and was (perhaps wisely) 
intolerant of any mixing of the blood. But the negroes of " Ole Virginny" 
did not dislike tobacco planting and curing, and in many respects they were 
content and even happy down to the tightening of servitude in the nineteenth 
century. It was in South Carolina in the first quarter of the eighteenth 
century that life was made unbearable and short for the unfortunate African, 
and that, being driven to mad despair, the negroes broke out in the Charleston 
revolt of 1740 and attempted (small blame to them !) to slay the pitiless devils 
who were their masters. 

This rising, repressed with ease by the white folk (and followed by atrocious 
punishments) gave a more stringent character to future slave legislation in the 
" Southern " States, 2 which then consisted of Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The remembrance of the Charleston 
revolt kept the American colonists on the alert for a hundred and twenty years 
afterwards to forestall and nip in the bud any possible negro rising. 

But as a matter of fact, though the slave legislation was as cruel in the 
eighteenth as in the nineteenth century, there were fewer slaves to be afflic